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graham
07-10-2006, 07:30 PM
Is it simply the point of balance?

And how does concentrating on it help me do things like unbendable arm? I assume that I'm subconsicously rearranging my weight/balance, or using other muscles?

Would O Sensei have considered it the place where Ki is stored, or something like that?

aikigirl10
07-10-2006, 08:40 PM
Is it simply the point of balance?

And how does concentrating on it help me do things like unbendable arm? I assume that I'm subconsicously rearranging my weight/balance, or using other muscles?

Would O Sensei have considered it the place where Ki is stored, or something like that?

If im not mistaken (which i could be) the "one point" is your center. And yes this is where ki is supposed to be stored, or in other words, where your energy comes from. At least that's my understanding of it... again i could be wrong.

NagaBaba
07-10-2006, 09:23 PM
It is kind of pseudo religious slang. In Reality it doesn't exist at all.

hapkidoike
07-10-2006, 09:33 PM
The one point is the singularity. That is to say, a point or region of infinite mass density at which space and time are infinitely distorted by gravitational forces and which is held to be the final state of matter falling into a black hole.

dps
07-10-2006, 10:12 PM
It is the physical point of balance for the mass of your body or the pivot point around which your body turns. The general area for it is directly below the navel but it can be shifted by contracting or relaxing the muscles in your body or by concentrating on a part of your body that is higher or lower than your one point. The closer to the ground your one point is the harder it is to unbalance you. The farther away from the ground it is the easier it is to unbalance you.
Keeping your one point and having your opponent lose theirs is maybe the most important principle of Aikido.

ian
07-11-2006, 03:21 AM
It is kind of pseudo religious slang. In Reality it doesn't exist at all.

Hey - metaphysical ;)

IMO saying 'concentrate on the one-point' to someone who doesn't know what the 'one-point' is, is.... pointless!

I think being aware of your centre of gravity (about 1 1/2 inches below your belly-button) can help in effciency of body movement (especially rotation around this centre). With unbendable arm I always think it is more important to focus on trying to reach with your open fingers to the far wall. I believe this helps you to use your triceps without interference from your antagonistic muscles (biceps). This isn't to say I don't believe in chi etc, just that I think esoteric language is of no use if it can't be felt or translated into something with external reality.

Maybe the 'focus on one-point' which you are being instructed to do is another way of saying 'relax and don't use too much muscle in the arm' - the command to "relax" being another of my pet hates!

P.S. yes, in 'eso-speak' ki can be stored in the one-point or 'hara'. Certain exercises can help to develop ki flow (with relaxation being an important aspect of ki flow). Ueshiba probably believed something similar to this, although it can be more complex (i.e. ki is the internal energy, but this then has to be converted to power (I think jin in Chinese? - not sure in Japanese)). Also ki development requires specific exercises that you don't really see practised in aikido (though some may argue that aikido is a ki exercise in itself?).

graham
07-11-2006, 04:09 AM
Thanks, guys. Fascinating stuff.

Mark Freeman
07-11-2006, 04:57 AM
Graham,

IMHO, One point is just a convenient english term for the concept of hara ( Japanese) or tandien ( Chinese), 'centre', might be just as useful. It is not a 'point' but an 'area' located just below the navel, which corresponds roughly with the body's centre of mass/gravity. There are many ways to practice moving from your one point. The goal is co-ordination of mind and body, essential for good aikido, but also invaluable in daily life.

It is more than the point of balance. You could think of it as where the mind, body and spirit all 'come together', when in this state, the person is just more effective than when they are not. This is not an 'idea' for me, it is a state of knowing through doing.

Whether ki is 'stored' in this place or not could be discussed until the cows come home. What does make sense is to practice your exercises and gain your own experience of what it means for you. In time you will know the state exactly and know when you have it and when you don't.

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
07-11-2006, 05:02 AM
It is kind of pseudo religious slang. In Reality it doesn't exist at all.

Pseudo religious slang - how do you come to that conclusion?

In Reality it doesn't exist at all - does the upper case 'R' make reality more real?

Do ideas exist in reality or do they not exist at all?

Who is the judge of what is really real and what is not?

Just a few thoughts that came to mind on reading the above pithy dismissal of a (to me) useful concept. ;)

regards

Mark

dps
07-11-2006, 05:26 AM
And how does concentrating on it help me do things like unbendable arm? I assume that I'm subconsciously rearranging my weight/balance, or using other muscles?
I was taught 'unbendable arm' by imagining my stomach full of water and imagining that my arm was a water pipe and my fingers were smaller pipes. Then I would imagine water flowing upward, through my arm, out my fingers and the water spraying at some some point in the distance. I have heard this visualization used with paint in the stomach and you were spraying a rainbow with your fingers.
I think this is a way to trick your mind into letting your body to setup a physical connection via bones, muscles, ligaments between your hand and your one point. By maintaining this connection you can use 'unbendable arm' while rolling forward and backward, break falling, and waza. You can also establish this connection with your legs or any other part of your body.
As far as the metaphysical part, my stomach is not full of water or paint. :)

billybob
07-11-2006, 02:21 PM
A google image search on "Da Vinci's Vitruvian man" will bring up a picture that everybody should know - the man in the circle.

I was taught 'move from center' at age 13, and I immediately thought of Da Vinci's drawing. Sempai said if you stuck a pin through that point in your belly you would spin in a perfect circle.

If 'ki' and 'center' bother you - forget them. Get to the zoo and watch the monkeys - especially Siamangs. They move with powerful arms. My wife and I watched them 'arm walk' long distances, high in the air, on ropes --- they moved from the hips, or belly, using their whole bodies - in perfect rhythm with the bouncing of the rope. As they shifted their weight the rope bounced and the mated pair just used their arms to hold on - the whole motion was almost a resonant dance.

What the heck does this have to do with aikido?

Don't know, I'm not a monkey

dave

Janet Rosen
07-11-2006, 02:56 PM
Get to the zoo and watch the monkeys - especially Siamangs.
I love watching (and listening to!) them but never considered in those terms. You are absolutely right; for all that they are using upper limbs to bear weight, they ARE totally moving from and balanced in their centers. Makes one realize how very silly it is of us leg-walking humans to put so much of our focus in our chests/shoulders!

aikigirl10
07-11-2006, 04:45 PM
It is kind of pseudo religious slang. In Reality it doesn't exist at all.

I think it all depends on how you look at it. If you don't believe in ki then i would say that you don't believe in the "one point".

Personally i think ki is just a manifestation of all the energy that is already within you. I don't really see it as a religion or as magic.

You see the difference Szczepan , is that you stated your opinion as fact, when in "Reality" your opinion is just opinion. How do you know that the one point doesn't exist? Why don't you provide all of us with proof of this since you seem to be so sure of your claims?

Upyu
07-11-2006, 04:58 PM
One point -

Not that I do aikido, but from what Ive experienced it overlaps with what we do here in Aunkai.
That being said, what's referred to the "one" point is only one part of an overall structure that needs to be connected to several other parts of the body.

If you were to divide the body into three general parts,
Top (Head to sternum)
Middle (Sternum to tanden/one point)
Bottom(Tanden/onepoint to Feet)

Then the one point is only another point which you need to feel and develop a connection to the other points.
Specifcially along the spine, you need to connect the base of the neck (about 5th vertabrae down) to the sacrum point, which surprise surprise coincides with the inner muscles that comprise the "tanden" about an inch and a half below the navel. Do enough connection exercises like spear work, Sumo stamping, and you'll actually be able to "move" some kind of inner muscle around the tanden area.

One point is important, but not all important if you ask me.
More important are the base of neck and the coinciding "cross" point that lies in the middle of the chest. Most people don't have this area stabilized, which almost completely nullifies any benefit to moving from your "one point".

PS
I think Szczepan is half right half wrong.
If you think the tanden is some quasi mystical thing that you use to improve your movement by visualization exercises, then he's right, it is garbage.
However if you understand exactly the roll it plays in connecting the body efficiently, well that's a different story. Plus, yes you can "store" power there, but it's nothing mystical. It's a physical action grounded in the laws of physics and reality.

tedehara
07-11-2006, 05:26 PM
Is it simply the point of balance?

And how does concentrating on it help me do things like unbendable arm? I assume that I'm subconsicously rearranging my weight/balance, or using other muscles?

Would O Sensei have considered it the place where Ki is stored, or something like that?The concept of one point was devised by Koichi Tohei to serve as a basis of his style of aikido, Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido aka Ki Aikido. While it appears similar to the concepts of hara or dan tien, it is not. The definitions and concepts of hara and dan tien depends on who you are reading. Also K. Tohei's use of the one point changed over the years as his understanding changed. Focusing your attention at your one point if done correctly, should help you achieve a relaxed state of mind and body coordination according to K. Tohei.

While it is usually taught as being equivalent to one's center of gravity, it is not. A person's center of gravity changes as a person's shape changes. Therefore you have a different center of gravity when walking, sitting or lying down.

The founder would be more familiar with the concepts of hara or dan tien. One of the popular ideas about ki is that it is not stored, but flows through the body. Any blockage of ki would be the cause of sickness, so the idea of storing ki is contrary to popular belief.

Upyu
07-11-2006, 07:24 PM
Again, I think the answer is somewhere in between.

There has to be a mild tension exhibited in the body, where the connections are "flowing" together, but at the same time you can "increase" the pressure in certain areas.
Which means you can "store" and keep it "flowing" at the same time ;)

Blockage means you're keeping something "tense" by clenching the muscles or you're simply disconnected from the rest of the points. If the muscles around a joint are tense, you can't connect them to the rest of the body, cuz the tension being derived is an "individual" tension being generated by local muscles.
Which is why most arts emphasize "opening" the joints to let "ki" flow through them.

About the center of gravity, its not that important, what's more important is the overall connectivity between certain key points if you ask me.

DH
07-11-2006, 08:39 PM
About the cross or the back chest area Rob mentioned and the idea of a one point.
If you can imagine shoving a drive shraft or any pole into a hole in the floor then slide a peg through it horizontally. Next grab the peg as it sticks out left to right with both your hands.
Now
Imagine the hole you stuck the pole into is attached to an engine with 1000 ft. lb. of torque and I turn it on.
Now when you get out of hospital with your broken arms healed you can understand how powerful it can be if
1. the pole is your spine
2. the peg is tension held across the back and chest
3. and the engine is the ground through your legs through your hips that turn the spine or pole at the waist. Everything attached to it is launched without you dedicating much to the effort in a forward direction. It makes powerful kicks, punches, throws, and shoves without you giving much to lose or have someone take your balance. You are wholely dedicated without being dedicated.
The frame is strengthened through connections throughout the body which can be strengthened further still through breathing and pressures there. As well you are using the ground for power to launch. Of course it is the way you are connected and can create the power that moves through the whole body foot to hand

The above example can be quite effective in ground grappling for reversals when you are on your back with someone on you giving you weight and you hold tension in the cross and you turn using the ground from your feet through the hips and you turn the spine like a drive shaft .....which......... turns the peg (your scapula area). Whats attached to the peg? Your shoulders and arms.
I have seen guys lifted off the floor and thrown. The key is to not try to throw them but to maintain connection and just turn in yourself.
Breathing and certain other things add to this.

My point is that center of gravity and one point and any manner of other things I have been "told" in these arts goes right out the window, yet I remain relaxed and over they go.
The other idea of a one point being the distance from the knee to the ground out in a triangular center point is just rote jujutsu balance work. No big deal.

Cheers
Dan

NagaBaba
07-11-2006, 08:53 PM
I think it all depends on how you look at it. If you don't believe in ki then i would say that you don't believe in the "one point".

Personally i think ki is just a manifestation of all the energy that is already within you. I don't really see it as a religion or as magic.

You see the difference Szczepan , is that you stated your opinion as fact, when in "Reality" your opinion is just opinion. How do you know that the one point doesn't exist? Why don't you provide all of us with proof of this since you seem to be so sure of your claims?
You got all wrong. It is not 'one point' that is responsible for unification with Universe but a spirit of Mgumba Gungdha that possess oneís body after particular ceremony of initiation.
You will say now that the spirit of Mgumba Gungdha doesnít exist so itís all false. Why don't you provide all of us with proof of this since you seem to be so sure of your claims?

As you see my small example above your argumentation can be apply to any imaginable stupidity, because is against logic. It is to ppl who believe in 'one point' to provide prove of existence, not to me.

Even creator of this concept, K.Tohei himself doesnít know exactly what is it; he changed many times its meaning, probably depending of actual direction of a wind, color of the smoke or other esoteric reasons. This only prove how big nonsense it is.

On the tatami there is only one reality: or you can throw attacker or you canít. You may have tons of more or less mysterious concepts that nobody really understands, but it will change nothing at all. Aikido practice is not about developing concepts.

Also, if you store something, and the same time let it and keep it "flowing" by relaxing muscles, better try it close to toilet LOL. ;)

DH
07-11-2006, 09:06 PM
Even creator of this concept, K.Tohei himself doesn't know exactly what is it; he changed many times its meaning, probably depending of actual direction of a wind, color of the smoke or other esoteric reasons. This only prove how big nonsense it is.

On the tatami there is only one reality: or you can throw attacker or you can't. You may have tons of more or less mysterious concepts that nobody really understands, but it will change nothing at all. Aikido practice is not about developing concepts.

Also, if you store something, and the same time let it and keep it "flowing" by relaxing muscles, better try it close to toilet LOL. ;)

I'm not much for mumbo jumbo myself. And the aiki arts are full it.

I teach by very....practical, explicable methods with a purpose and goal to knock people out, choke them, break them, throw them and control them to win. How?
Using concepts and ideas like storing and releasing, pressures in breathing, holding tension, frame, connection in fascia/tendon work throughout the body and zero balance work.

That said, Tohei was not full of it, there is one reality on the mat and the fact that Aikido is NOT about developing concepts may be its biggest weakness. :rolleyes:

Dan

Upyu
07-11-2006, 09:48 PM
Also, if you store something, and the same time let it and keep it "flowing" by relaxing muscles, better try it close to toilet LOL. ;)

Sure Szczepan :D
Course, next time you come to Tokyo, mebbe we can have a friendly rolling session and see who really needs to use the toilet after the training session ;)

Upyu
07-11-2006, 09:50 PM
About the cross or the back chest area Rob mentioned and the idea of a one point.
If you can imagine shoving a drive shraft or any pole into a hole in the floor then slide a peg through it horizontally. Next grab the peg as it sticks out left to right with both your hands.
Now
Imagine the hole you stuck the pole into is attached to an engine with 1000 ft. lb. of torque and I turn it on.
Now when you get out of hospital with your broken arms healed you can understand how powerful it can be if
1. the pole is your spine
2. the peg is tension held across the back and chest
3. and the engine is the ground through your legs through your hips that turn the spine or pole at the waist. Everything attached to it is launched without you dedicating much to the effort in a forward direction. It makes powerful kicks, punches, throws, and shoves without you giving much to lose or have someone take your balance. You are wholely dedicated without being dedicated.
The frame is strengthened through connections throughout the body which can be strengthened further still through breathing and pressures there. As well you are using the ground for power to launch. Of course it is the way you are connected and can create the power that moves through the whole body foot to hand

The above example can be quite effective in ground grappling for reversals when you are on your back with someone on you giving you weight and you hold tension in the cross and you turn using the ground from your feet through the hips and you turn the spine like a drive shaft .....which......... turns the peg (your scapula area). Whats attached to the peg? Your shoulders and arms.
I have seen guys lifted off the floor and thrown. The key is to not try to throw them but to maintain connection and just turn in yourself.
Breathing and certain other things add to this.

My point is that center of gravity and one point and any manner of other things I have been "told" in these arts goes right out the window, yet I remain relaxed and over they go.
The other idea of a one point being the distance from the knee to the ground out in a triangular center point is just rote jujutsu balance work. No big deal.

Cheers
Dan

Damn...that was well worded.

And you say you suck as a teacher.... :freaky:

DH
07-11-2006, 10:29 PM
Thanks bud

What I mean is that guys who like to teach have all sorts of plans and caring for students and outings and get togethers and manuals to track progress and ranks and such. They also have a tradition and vision for the future.
I am all self-absorbed and weird and I know it. Way into learning, creating, and experimenting. But with that I have had plenty of guys who wouldn't go anywhere else, including some new ones who trained with top level Aikido and CMA masters Who say they have never felt anything like what I do. So...if you were to ask even these people - I can show and teach what I do, clearly. So I'm not saying I can't. I just don't want a bunch of people to bring through the steps and worst of all develop some system to rank them in. And I sure ain't gonna do it on the net

You wait...
I can hear you now- fifteen years out- with so many half assed martial moroons and hangers-on having come and gone......whining about this or that and never doing the real work. It seems we all have to go through dozens to get a single good one. I have an eimuroku with over two hundred names in it!! I have had maybe a dozen good students.

So judging teachers in a larger scope or all encompassing scale.... (and I have some excellent examples)......I stink.
Cheers
Dan

ksy
07-11-2006, 11:57 PM
I'm not much for mumbo jumbo myself. And the aiki arts are full it...That said, Tohei was not full of it, there is one reality on the mat and the fact that Aikido is NOT about developing concepts may be its biggest weakness. :rolleyes: Dan

I thought that o-sensei said that aikido is never "finished", that you never finish learning. if that's the case, the only limit (whther its abt developing concepts or not), and therefore the only weakness, lies within ourselves.

ksy

p/s- i like the mumbo jumbo stuff, so dont knock it. :crazy:

Graham Farquhar
07-12-2006, 01:55 AM
Apologies for going back a few posts but I was in the land of nod when there were some interesting discussions on this topic. I am interested in what Ted said about K Tohei Sensei's change in his interpretation of one point over the years along with his understanding. I would be interested in how this developed.

If this is off topic apologies to all. But I ask for those in the forum who are interested in these concepts and who find them useful in their practice.

Best

aikigirl10
07-12-2006, 05:52 AM
Why don't you provide all of us with proof of this since you seem to be so sure of your claims?


lol Szczepan, i don't think you really grasped what i was saying in that post. I stated my opinion, which means, NO, i am NOT sure of my claims. It is my opinion. (hince the word "personally")

However, you, stated your opinion as fact, which is why i asked you to provide proof.

gdandscompserv
07-12-2006, 06:08 AM
to win.
Ah...now i understand why you don't care for Aikido.

Mark Freeman
07-12-2006, 06:47 AM
lol Szczepan, i don't think you really grasped what i was saying in that post. I stated my opinion, which means, NO, i am NOT sure of my claims. It is my opinion. (hince the word "personally")

However, you, stated your opinion as fact, which is why i asked you to provide proof.

Don't hold your breath Paige ;) my questions to the same poster went completely unanswered :(

regards,

Mark

Lyle Bogin
07-12-2006, 08:40 AM
It's the point we're all trying to make that we can't possibly articulate ;).

gdandscompserv
07-12-2006, 08:43 AM
It's the point we're all trying to make that we can't possibly articulate ;).
Good point,
Thread killer! :p
:D

tedehara
07-12-2006, 08:49 AM
You got all wrong. It is not 'one point' that is responsible for unification with Universe but a spirit of Mgumba Gungdha that possess one's body after particular ceremony of initiation.
You will say now that the spirit of Mgumba Gungdha doesn't exist so it's all false. Why don't you provide all of us with proof of this since you seem to be so sure of your claims?

As you see my small example above your argumentation can be apply to any imaginable stupidity, because is against logic. It is to ppl who believe in 'one point' to provide prove of existence, not to me.

Even creator of this concept, K.Tohei himself doesn't know exactly what is it; he changed many times its meaning, probably depending of actual direction of a wind, color of the smoke or other esoteric reasons. This only prove how big nonsense it is.

On the tatami there is only one reality: or you can throw attacker or you can't. You may have tons of more or less mysterious concepts that nobody really understands, but it will change nothing at all. Aikido practice is not about developing concepts.

Also, if you store something, and the same time let it and keep it "flowing" by relaxing muscles, better try it close to toilet LOL. ;)

:D Big Grin

jonreading
07-12-2006, 10:42 AM
Dan Linden's book "On Mastering Aikido" is a good read to de-mystify some eastern concepts that cause us westerners confusion. I think he actually addresses the one point...

To me, the one point is an imaginary point created by our brain to balance our body. I find it between the hips and approximately 3-12 inches in front or behind our body, depending upon weight distribution and posture.

Essentially, humans stand on 2 feet; balancing on 2 feet is difficult and unstable. In geometry, 2 points can create a line (segment), but cannot create a shape. Three points are required to make the simplest geometric shape, a triangle. Our brain uses complex calculations to establish an imaginary third point to create a triangle of balance. In my opinioin, this imaginary point is the "one point" so often referred. Nothing too exciting.

But a triangle is still not very stable, so our brains continue to create imaginary points of reference to balance our body. 2 more points (5 total) give us a very stable geometric shape - the pyramid. These two new points are commonly referred to as "sankaku" or the third leg of a two-legged human; we have one in front of us and one behind.

The catch is these points are imaginary, which explains why we lose our balance when a false point is pressured.

MaryKaye
07-12-2006, 11:13 AM
In unbendable arm specifically, one thing that thinking about your one point (or hara, or whatever) does is to discourage you from thinking about, and tensing, your arm or shoulder. I find that thinking about the soles of my feet works well here, too. Anything but thinking about my shoulder!

I have trained with people who teach "use your hips/move from hara" and (more extensively) with people who say "keep one point." I think there is a practical difference but I'm a long way from being able to say what it is. The teachings involving "keep one point" seem easier to apply when I am not moving--I don't know how to "move from hara" when not moving, and it's not just a semantic problem. But I can't get more specific than that yet.

At the Ki Society National Conference, someone asked Shinichi Tohei sensei where your one point is when you have bent over backwards from seiza until you are lying on the mat. He said something to the effect of, "If you find this question puzzling and distracting, try to think of something else, like being relaxed or keeping weight underside." (Not an exact quote, but I think that was the gist of it.) I liked this answer a lot.

Mary Kaye

dps
07-12-2006, 11:15 AM
"The truth is, you've probably "found" one-point many times before in your life. It's just that nobody called it "one-point" at the time. For whatever reason, you were doing something that you felt particularly happy and comfortable doing. You were calm, relaxed, and positive. You were keeping one-point.
You see, one-point is not an invention of Aikido. It was a discovery made by Aikido practitioners. Now, Aikido (and it's related exercises) may very well be the best way to discover one-point and reinforce it's feeling. But one-point is not owned by Aikido. It is just a natural part of being a human being."

So now we'll give away the secret, and tell you just where one-point is located: It's about two inches below your navel, within your lower abdomen. (Wasn't nearly as mysterious as you had hoped, was it?) This is your body's center of balance. The most powerful motions of the body originate here. And the calmest minds are concentrated here"You will find that when you keep one-point, you are harder to move. That's the physical result. But you may also notice that you feel different when you keep one-point. You feel more comfortable and calm, although fully aware. You may not notice it, but your face will look more relaxed and serene. You are finding a more dependable state.

That's a fascinating thing about one-point. By concentrating the mind there, you become more stable both physically and mentally. And when someone tests you - as when you just had your friend press on your collar bone - it tells something about you mentally by the way you react physically. "

From; http://www.bodymindandmodem.com/Main/main.html

NagaBaba
07-12-2006, 01:31 PM
Sorry Mark, I had to miss your post by mistake, don't take it personally.

Pseudo religious slang - how do you come to that conclusion?

Ppl who belive in this thing repeat 'one point mantra' all time, instead of doing real physical actions, exactly as in most of religions. Of course nobody can see any results of that, but those believers seems to ignor this simple fact. Again, typical for religious folks.


In Reality it doesn't exist at all - does the upper case 'R' make reality more real?
Yes.


Do ideas exist in reality or do they not exist at all?
Lets not enter into philosophical argumentation. This way leads to nowhere land.

Who is the judge of what is really real and what is not?
If I hit you well enough to make you KO you can safely say it was really real.


Just a few thoughts that came to mind on reading the above pithy dismissal of a (to me) useful concept. ;)
Who is the judge of what is really pithy and what is not?

Robert Rumpf
07-12-2006, 02:22 PM
It is kind of pseudo religious slang. In Reality it doesn't exist at all.

Yeah... I agree with Szczepan.

So, when people talk about "One Point" and make statements like "keep One Point" and talk about "move from One Point," its just a coincidence that "hara" and "One Point" corresponds fairly well to the body's center of mass (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2006/centerofmass.shtml).

The fact that it is pseudo-religious nonsense can clearly be seen on this page: One Point (http://www.bodymindandmodem.com/Basics/one.html)

In addition, I agree with Szczepan that the idea that being conscious of your center of mass while learning to move can help you move effectively, is complete nonsense and is psuedo-religious slang..

Likewise, imagining or perceiving a fixed point, an axis of rotation of a technique, or a center of mass for a situation or an opponent is also completely psuedo-religious and these concepts don't exist at all in reality.

Thanks for clearing that up,
Rob

billybob
07-12-2006, 03:59 PM
Robert Rumpf - Likewise, imagining or perceiving a fixed point, an axis of rotation of a technique, or a center of mass for a situation or an opponent is also completely psuedo-religious and these concepts don't exist at all in reality.

Tautology.

Of course 'concepts' don't exist in reality! The word roots mean "with head"

The moment I speak I am using symbols. I have left reality behind. Read 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions' by Thomas Kuhn. Without a paradigm there can be no scientific investigation. In lay terms - without a frame of reference we can learn nothing 'conceptual'.

So, don't throw out the baby with the bath water and argue that concepts aren't real. If they are useful to some people, then they are valid - whether you buy it or not. They honestly don't give a damn.

David

Mary Eastland
07-12-2006, 04:47 PM
Yeah... I agree with Szczepan.

So, when people talk about "One Point" and make statements like "keep One Point" and talk about "move from One Point," its just a coincidence that "hara" and "One Point" corresponds fairly well to the body's center of mass (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2006/centerofmass.shtml).

The fact that it is pseudo-religious nonsense can clearly be seen on this page: One Point (http://www.bodymindandmodem.com/Basics/one.html)

In addition, I agree with Szczepan that the idea that being conscious of your center of mass while learning to move can help you move effectively, is complete nonsense and is psuedo-religious slang..

Likewise, imagining or perceiving a fixed point, an axis of rotation of a technique, or a center of mass for a situation or an opponent is also completely psuedo-religious and these concepts don't exist at all in reality.

Thanks for clearing that up,
Rob

Clearing what up :( ....just because you don't believe in it doesn't mean it does not exist.

I am not posting this to argue with you.....I want people to know that you can train to be centered. Being one pointed is having correct feeling and that co-ordination of mind and body is a great way to experience life.

It has nothing to do with religion.

I don't understand why people train and talk about real fighting but I don't ridicule it ...try opening your mind just a little...you might be pleasantly surprised. :)

Mary

Mike Sigman
07-12-2006, 05:01 PM
Just to toss in my 2 cents. The idea of "center of mass" being the "one point" sort of means that Asians were dummies to give some obscure term to such an obvious concept, doesn't it? In other words, to toss off "one point" as being something as obvious as "center of mass" is a little patronizing toward Asians. If they're that dumb and obvious, why on earth would anyone elect to do their martial arts?

I personally think the "one point" or "dantien" or "tanden", etc., concept is a lot more complicated that it appears to be. The physical "dantien" can be thought of as a muscular soccer ball that is attached to the spine and hips and moves in accordance with them and the forces of the ground or the weight. The "one point" could then be the figurative center of this area.... and that would be far more sophisticated than this discussion has become.

However, while the above paragraph is true, it neglects a very sophisticated part of what is the actual "ki" or "qi" in the way the mind directs the forces. And sure, I was unaware of this stuff at one time too, so I'm not trying to be supercilious. But if you know how to trigger the ki things, suddenly you see a clever way to manipulate forces and what a real "one point" is becomes clear. A real "Aha!". And suddenly those dumb ole Asians don't appear as dumb or as superficial as we thought. Maybe instead of interpretting on what we know, we should consider the possibility that there are things that we simply didn't learn in our training?

FWIW

Mike Sigman

dps
07-12-2006, 07:25 PM
Yeah... I agree with Szczepan.
So, when people talk about "One Point" and make statements like "keep One Point" and talk about "move from One Point," its just a coincidence that "hara" and "One Point" corresponds fairly well to the body's center of mass (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2006/centerofmass.shtml). Rob It's just another way to explain the body'scenter of mass.
The fact that it is pseudo-religious nonsense can clearly be seen on this page: One Point (http://www.bodymindandmodem.com/Basics/one.html) Rob
Hey, that was my post, get your own. :)
In addition, I agree with Szczepan that the idea that being conscious of your center of mass while learning to move can help you move effectively, is complete nonsense and is psuedo-religious slang..Rob
Getting punched in the face will definitely raise your center of mass, try it.
Getting kicked in the groin will definitely lower you center of mass, try it.
Likewise, imagining or perceiving a fixed point, an axis of rotation of a technique, or a center of mass for a situation or an opponent is also completely psuedo-religious and these concepts don't exist at all in reality.

No, science, you know like physics, mechanical engineering, biology.
Thanks for clearing that up,Rob
No problem :D

aikigirl10
07-12-2006, 07:43 PM
just because you don't believe in it doesn't mean it does not exist.


can we like bold, italicize and turn on the CAPS LOCK for that ^^^^^^^^^^

NagaBaba
07-12-2006, 08:44 PM
I'm not much for mumbo jumbo myself. And the aiki arts are full it.

I teach by very....practical, explicable methods with a purpose and goal to knock people out, choke them, break them, throw them and control them to win. How?
Using concepts and ideas like storing and releasing, pressures in breathing, holding tension, frame, connection in fascia/tendon work throughout the body and zero balance work.

That said, Tohei was not full of it, there is one reality on the mat and the fact that Aikido is NOT about developing concepts may be its biggest weakness. :rolleyes:

Dan
Dan,
First of all you are not practicing aikido. So I have very mixed feeling about your 'stuff'.
Soccer masters are good in soccer. Tennis masters are good in tennis. And you Dan, you are good in what?
Credibility of your opinions about aikido depends of your training level in aikido. Not in MMA, not in judo, not in some other more or less esoteric arts. Aikido. We are talking here about aikido.

Second point is that 99.9999999% of world population aikido students need 20 - 30 years of hard physical training. Not once a month or once a week -- every day training. Not concepts, but simple body conditioning with aikido techniques. Without such base, any abstract idea will be not only misunderstood, but will help very much to regress on the Way.

NagaBaba
07-12-2006, 08:51 PM
just because you don't believe in it doesn't mean it does not exist.
Yes, this is good point. In any religion you must believe in something. That's why I'm convinced that you guys you are doing psedo religious One Point Church.

MA are not about believing. Aikido is not about believing.

ChrisMoses
07-12-2006, 09:17 PM
Yes, this is good point. In any religion you must believe in something. That's why I'm convinced that you guys you are doing psedo religious One Point Church.

MA are not about believing. Aikido is not about believing.

Except that he asks you to believe that in 30 years it will work, no really, please keep paying your dues, only a few decades left and you'll be able to throw a blue blelt from Savage Joe's Jujutsu Adademy.

Upyu
07-12-2006, 09:17 PM
Dan,
First of all you are not practicing aikido. So I have very mixed feeling about your 'stuff'.
Soccer masters are good in soccer. Tennis masters are good in tennis. And you Dan, you are good in what?
Credibility of your opinions about aikido depends of your training level in aikido. Not in MMA, not in judo, not in some other more or less esoteric arts. Aikido. We are talking here about aikido.

Second point is that 99.9999999% of world population aikido students need 20 - 30 years of hard physical training. Not once a month or once a week -- every day training. Not concepts, but simple body conditioning with aikido techniques. Without such base, any abstract idea will be not only misunderstood, but will help very much to regress on the Way.

You know it's funny Baba, I got no attatchment to Dan, I've never met him in real life. Nor have I met Mike. Yet the conversations I've had with them hit too close to home from what I've experienced for it to be "coincidence". Which means in my mind there's only so many efficient ways to move the human body ;)
Plus, they're not exactly intuitive at first.

Dan just happens to apply it to MMA and everyday labor work.
Mike likes to apply it to movement in everyday life.

I think you're just jealous that there's someone that might walk the walk better than how you like to talk the talk :D

ksy
07-12-2006, 09:39 PM
Yes, this is good point. In any religion you must believe in something. That's why I'm convinced that you guys you are doing psedo religious One Point Church.

MA are not about believing. Aikido is not about believing.

I dont know jack about aikido techniques since i'm pretty new but then if i didn't "believe" in the application of aikido, especially now when everthing is so unfamilar to me, i would not continue. same thing with any MA i've considered in the past.

everything requires a certain amount of faith and the word "believe" is not restricted to religion itself. for eg, a certain amount of faith is put on your sensei, in hope that he/she will impart the neccesary knowledge to you. Anyone starting serious MA training will not continue if they dont "believe" that the techniques they learn can be duplicated in an outside environment or that it can give them a certain egde.

as for this "psedo religious One Point Church" you refer to, isn't it all just words. end of day, you're looking for balance which would give you max leverage for whatever technique you wish to put on, however you want to call it. no need to put us "religious" aikido folk down.

As for me now, when i can't even take ukemi properly, "believe" is all i have to fall back on. and maybe a little bit of "mysticism".... :rolleyes:

p/s - any diff between believe and blind trust?

dps
07-12-2006, 10:07 PM
Second point is that 99.9999999% of world population aikido students need 20 - 30 years of hard physical training. Not once a month or once a week -- every day training. Not concepts,,,,,, .
Definition of concept from the American Heritage Dictionary;
' Something formed in the mind; a thought or notion.'

Didn't O'Sensei have a concept ( thought or notion ) and didn't he call that concept ( thought or notion) Aikido?


When is the video coming out?

DH
07-13-2006, 01:25 AM
Sxczepan writes........
Dan,
First of all you are not practicing aikido. So I have very mixed feeling about your 'stuff'.
Soccer masters are good in soccer. Tennis masters are good in tennis. And you Dan, you are good in what?
Credibility of your opinions about aikido depends of your training level in aikido. Not in MMA, not in judo, not in some other more or less esoteric arts. Aikido. We are talking here about aikido.

Second point is that 99.9999999% of world population aikido students need 20 - 30 years of hard physical training. Not once a month or once a week -- every day training. Not concepts, but simple body conditioning with aikido techniques. Without such base, any abstract idea will be not only misunderstood, but will help very much to regress on the Way.


Szczepan
I take no offense at your critique. I hope you take no offense at mine. I think your art can be stopped dead in its tracks by these skills -without using any technique whatsoever to do so- in just a few years training. Virtually nulllified. If it takes you thirty years to understand these skills-if you ever do-is the failure of your teachers in Aikido or your own prejudice. In either case I feel very bad for you.

What you fail to understand is the things being highlighted here are the very foundation of your art...not what you have been doing.

On any other day I will argue that your founder continually ranted against mindsets just like yours and he freed himself of it to be rid of it.. How many times did he see movement and call it great Aikido. When he met a Sumo player named Tenryu he graduated him in three months telling him he had nothing more to teach him.
Now just imagine Ueshiba telling you he had nothing more to teach you...............................................
And this was to a sumo guy?
You would be the doof student in the room saying "What do you mean Ueshiba sensei? He doesn't understand Aikido!!"

I've just trained with one of the highest Chen Tai chi men in the world from Chen village and twenty of his students doing push hands. I told them "I can't do Tai chi, I don' know Tai chi, that I've never done Tai chi." A mere four hours in they told me I had better internal skills than them. And that I could help fix their Tai chi.
Their teacher could do nothing to me and bounced off me.

Even Rob with such little experience has met a highly trained man from Sagawa dojo and promptly announced here that "He had no structure."

These skills are the apex of all these arts, and they are the thread that runs through them and joins them like a string of pearls. Which are frequently laid before swine
The internets quite interesting. Quite a cast of charactors. I would sugget to you that you ignore this talk of these skills. Ignore me.
Theres nothing here for you to learn.

Dan

Mark Freeman
07-13-2006, 03:33 AM
Sorry Mark, I had to miss your post by mistake, don't take it personally.


Ppl who belive in this thing repeat 'one point mantra' all time, instead of doing real physical actions, exactly as in most of religions. Of course nobody can see any results of that, but those believers seems to ignor this simple fact. Again, typical for religious folks.


Yes.


Lets not enter into philosophical argumentation. This way leads to nowhere land.

If I hit you well enough to make you KO you can safely say it was really real.


Who is the judge of what is really pithy and what is not?

I don't take it personally Szczepan, no problem ;)

And if you were to throw a punch at me for an intended KO and I move from my 'one point' and throw you, would you then accept that the one point was 'real'? I somehow doubt it :p

Your answers to my questions seem to be a good way of digging yourself into a hole and throwing away the shovel :D ( but don't take it personally ;) )

regards,

Mark
p.s. Who is the judge of what is really pithy and what is not?...Me! :p

Dazzler
07-13-2006, 04:00 AM
Hmmm.

Some thread this - gets the grey matter churning a bit.

On the one point itself. Well - firstly no one seems to deny that there is a centre to the body - via locking the elbows to the body and using a rigid arm its fairly easy to see that this will allow transfer of all the bodys mass to a target, as opposed to using a moving arm and the muscular force to perhaps just land the mass of a persons arm.

I'll suggest this is akin to the ability of boxers that can "punch their weight".

While I hate the term unbendable arm (since I always keep a slight bend in mine to protect the elbow) its fairly easy to see the benefits. If you look at most modern tow trucks they use a rigid bar rather than a flexible chain since it gives much better control when pulling. Energy is not lost in the erratic movement of the chain.

Again - look at boxing ...a straight cross down the line with the body mass firmly behind it is a lot more powerful than just an arm based punch.

So...I guess my point is that on a physical level you can see the benefits of using the centre of the body to utilise all of the bodies weight to maximise the power achieved.

Add in to this equation that the human body is fairly strong in the oblique Kamea used when facing an opponent / Uke but has a triangular point of weakness to the front and also to the rear (which are joined by the irimi line then its reasonable ...(again on a physical level) to accept that if Tori places the centre of his body on either the weak point to the front eg Ikkyo omote, or the weak point to the rear eg sumi otoshi or irimi nage) or even attacks down this irimi line eg Tenchi Nage then he is using his maximum force against points of weakness of Uke and thus increasing his mechanical or physical advantage.

So ....I'd suggest from a physical angle there are some clear reasons for practicing with the idea of centre.

Now ...for me, one of the special things about Aikido is that it has many layers and levels of practice, like an onion perhaps.

Moving away from the physical you move into realms of ki and suchlike. Much harder ideas to swallow for most of us. I certainly can offer no expert explanation and won't even try to compete with specialists such as Mr. Sigman accept to say its a choice - you can acknowledge that years of Asian tradition were founded on something and work towards an understanding...or dismiss it and work towards the purely physical.

Its the individuals choice...we can't all be cage fighting champon of the world...but that doesn't demean our martial arts...if you accept that its not just about fighting.

Which leads me on to Dan Hardens point. I can't really ague with him at all. As I was reminded when I practiced jujitsu and vale tude ..Its possible to improve 'fighting' ability much quicker than through Aikido.

I've seen students walk in the door who were regular fighters outside the dojo...I don't want to say street fighters since few were in charlie bronsons film persona league...but they were guys that have / had regular fights. One of them may even have been me.

I can't really say that Aikido will make guys with this edge better fighters.

Starting to consider thing from the point of the receiver of the battering, accepting that not everyone is a target are all things that can slow down the desire to give pre-emptive strike followed by the quick deliver of the telling blows from no where that typifies the majority of "fights" in the uk.

I do think that those that stay have better lives.

Less chance of jail, less chance of receiving a knife from someone who wants the glory of their title but is scared to toe to toe with them.

Who knows for sure?

Anyway - I'll add that those that went the distance in jujitsu were 90% young fit men, we all had the same skinhead look...whats going the distance? well - I'll say achieving a pretty good standard where you'd mix it with everyone in the club without getting murdered. I lasted 8 years before a combination of neck injury and elbow damage forced me out. I was also 40 so creeping well up to my sell by date....and I still got murdered by the top league.

Anyway - back in the safer realms of Aikido I train with a much broader section of people. Sure most of them would lose in a fight to most of the guys with similar and less experience in the more fight based jujitsu. I like to think this doesn't invalidate them or their aikido. However I have met a few in Aikido that can fight and would be just at home in ether disciple. I just think Aikido being a bit less obvious is sometimes a harder road mentally.

Who actually wins in a fight anyway? the guy in hospital or dead? or the young guy that put a knife in him in a drunken rage and faces a 10 stretch plus a lifetime of looking over his shoulder and knowing he's deprived a bunch of kids of a father or brother?

Even in a crap fight - you spend 2 days suffering adrenaline dump hoping the other guy hasn't got a blood clot on the brain.

No one really wins.

Maybe O'Sensei felt that Tenru just wanted to fight and that was it.

One day maybe we'll get to ask him in the big dojo in the sky.

anyway Dan - thanks for your posts - I enjoy them and very much welcome an alternative opinion to help keep our feet on the ground.

Cheers

D

Robert Rumpf
07-13-2006, 05:18 AM
Robert Rumpf -

Tautology.

Of course 'concepts' don't exist in reality! The word roots mean "with head"

The moment I speak I am using symbols. I have left reality behind. Read 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions' by Thomas Kuhn. Without a paradigm there can be no scientific investigation. In lay terms - without a frame of reference we can learn nothing 'conceptual'.

So, don't throw out the baby with the bath water and argue that concepts aren't real. If they are useful to some people, then they are valid - whether you buy it or not. They honestly don't give a damn.

David

I was being facetious and sarcastic, as my links should have indicated... I don't really agree with him. My perception was that the links that I included in my post more clearly stated one extremely useful interpretation of One Point more clearly than I could, and were self-explanatory. I was mocking the idea of dismissing center of mass when thinking about moving.

Just so that there is no confusion: I think that the idea of One Point is very important. I'm not sure about the ki-related connotations of such ideas, but physics at least I have some understanding of.

Sorry to be confusing.. Likewise sorry to Mary.

Rob

Robert Rumpf
07-13-2006, 05:32 AM
Just to toss in my 2 cents. The idea of "center of mass" being the "one point" sort of means that Asians were dummies to give some obscure term to such an obvious concept, doesn't it? In other words, to toss off "one point" as being something as obvious as "center of mass" is a little patronizing toward Asians. If they're that dumb and obvious, why on earth would anyone elect to do their martial arts?

I personally think the "one point" or "dantien" or "tanden", etc., concept is a lot more complicated that it appears to be. The physical "dantien" can be thought of as a muscular soccer ball that is attached to the spine and hips and moves in accordance with them and the forces of the ground or the weight. The "one point" could then be the figurative center of this area.... and that would be far more sophisticated than this discussion has become.

However, while the above paragraph is true, it neglects a very sophisticated part of what is the actual "ki" or "qi" in the way the mind directs the forces. And sure, I was unaware of this stuff at one time too, so I'm not trying to be supercilious. But if you know how to trigger the ki things, suddenly you see a clever way to manipulate forces and what a real "one point" is becomes clear. A real "Aha!". And suddenly those dumb ole Asians don't appear as dumb or as superficial as we thought. Maybe instead of interpretting on what we know, we should consider the possibility that there are things that we simply didn't learn in our training?

FWIW

Mike Sigman

I'm not sure that smart or dumb really means that much in this - it could be a translation issue. In addition, I'm not sure how much (for example) O'Sensei knew about physics and the terminology associated with it.

While I don't think that center of mass is ALL of what they meant by One Point, I do that it is a piece of the concept - or at least something worth considering in my Aikido. Its also something that ki skeptics or agnostics can get a piece of.

I'm working on my Aikido piecemeal and attacking the ideas that are within reach (I currently don't "how to trigger the ki things" and am not making discernable progress along that path). Thinking in ways that I somewhat understand (physics) is a way for me to make some sort of progress.

I'm sure we can debate the wisdom of this, but I'd rather not.. :) I've already been told on some other thread that my basics suck, and I'd rather not hear that everywhere.

Rob

Robert Rumpf
07-13-2006, 05:42 AM
Hey, that was my post, get your own. :)

What can I say - just living up to the verb that is my name.

Rob

aikigirl10
07-13-2006, 05:47 AM
I'm convinced that you guys you are doing psedo religious One Point Church.


lmao

bob_stra
07-13-2006, 06:15 AM
This may be of interest (specifically: see bolded section), as it refers peripherally to "One Point". From a current JudoInfo thread

http://judoforum.com/index.php?showtopic=11623
******************************

(From Feldenkrais Journal 19, Issue #2 "Martial Moshe Interview" pp
8-10 )

Q: You were talking the other day about ki, chi, that kind of thing.
I'd like to know what you think about that

Feldenkrais: Ki and chi are the same thing. You'd better, about chi and ki, ask
Chinese or other Asian people. Because they talk about Ki and chi. I
can tell you only about Koizumi, when he wanted to talk about it. There
was an international congress of judo black belts in London and I was
one of them.

There were about 500 there. And we had a special course
conducted by Koizumi. And then in the middle of the course, on the
fifth day he suddenly says "Now I am going to talk to you about the
most important principle in judo training, about the saika-tanden. Some
people call call it tantien, the seat of chi, ki or whatever you like,
but it's the saika-tanden in Japanese. But Feldenkrais, come here" he
said to the whole assemblage.

'I believe he will talk to you about the
saika-tanden more sensibly and in a way you'll understand. It is
something which I feel and know, but which I cannot explain". And then
he let me explain for the people there. And he wrote the preface of my
book. The thing is this, when you talk of such matters in my way, no
one will take it for ki or chi, You see, most people talk about that as
if it's a mysterious kind of thing in the lower abdomen with all sorts
of metaphysical powers. I have no connection with that"

Q: But this is only a semantic difference, isn't it?

A: Oh, no. A semantic difference. No. Ghosts are a semantic difference?
Ghosts are something which if you believe in and your are afraid of
ghosts, you are afraid of ghosts. You will never go into a haunted
house

Q: Yes, but you must know...it's not semantic, but you must know from
your practice something, the importance, what they call in language,
tanden

A: Of course I know

Q: And their description of it, while it may be...

A: My description of it is only in movement. I am not concerned with
the other things

...

Q: But what you're talking about is different?

A: Yes, I told you. In movement, I can show you what chi is, what ki
is, on you or anybody else. Can you see that my notions on breathing
are different from anything you heard before and will ever hear? You
can see it, you can test it, on yourself, and there is a marked
difference between the one and the other, provided you can make the
contrast.

Q: Okay, for example, in martial arts training, in Aikido, when they
have the notion of unbendable arm or they talk about focusing
somewhere, like a couple of inches below the navel and a couple of
inches inside the lower abdomen, and then having your weight underside
and not being stiff, but not relaxed, but having your attention...

A: Well, I don't know that it's a few inches here and few inches there.
It has to do with the full organization of your body, you can see it in
whatever you do. You actually get chi through using the pelvis and the
lower abdominal muscles, the strong muscles of the body as a unit
concentrated where all the push or pull is issued.

The rest of the body and the arms needn't be powerful. It's not a muscle, it's not a point.
It has nothing to do with a point, because if it were a point...Look,
if you move your body like that, the point is gone. A point a few
inches here, a few inches there, if you go there, you will find it is
full of #%*/, literally. (Laughter). That point is full of #%*/.

...

Q: Your teacher and Kano, were training with that notion in a cultural
matrix that allowed them not to view it so mysteriously?

A: Oh, certainly, And Kano, when he had already a school where most of
the people could beat anybody in Japan, he brought a boy that was 14yrs
old into the dojo and none of those big experts could throw him...They
said "Look, judo no good". And he (Kano) said "you are no good". This
chap will be here until you learn to fight that sort of thing. Only
then will you have a better saika-tanden than he. He is better than any
one of you, therefore you have to learn.*******************************

NagaBaba
07-13-2006, 06:35 AM
What you fail to understand is the things being highlighted here are the very foundation of your art...not what you have been doing.
Dan
How can you know what is fundamental in aikido as you don't practice aikido? You know nothing about it.You cant even guess.

I don't lecture about what engineer or architect must understand as basic of his art, because I'm neither engineer nor architect. It would be very silly.

You misunderstood other point also. 30 years of training is needed to develop conditioning body and mind. 99.9999.....% ppl who start aikido have virtually no experience in any other MA, or even sports. How can you compare them with Tenryu?? Your arguments fail in all line.

NagaBaba
07-13-2006, 06:44 AM
Which means in my mind there's only so many efficient ways to move the human body ;)
<snip>
I think you're just jealous that there's someone that might walk the walk better than how you like to talk the talk :D
We are not discussing here how to do the techniques. The topic here is how 'concepts' (particularly One Point Concept) are useful in aikido training,

And don't start psychoanalyzing me; it is not the topic of this discussion. Of course you are not the first one to do it as you donít have any valid argument on the topic itself.

Mary Eastland
07-13-2006, 06:45 AM
What is "Imao"?
Mary

bob_stra
07-13-2006, 06:49 AM
Laughing my a$$ off

NagaBaba
07-13-2006, 06:52 AM
What is "Imao"?
Mary
it is probably another useful concept in aikido practice :D :D :D :D :D :D

DH
07-13-2006, 07:01 AM
Q: Your teacher and Kano, were training with that notion in a cultural
matrix that allowed them not to view it so mysteriously?

A: Oh, certainly, And Kano, when he had already a school where most of
the people could beat anybody in Japan, he brought a boy that was 14yrs
old into the dojo and none of those big experts could throw him...They
said "Look, judo no good". And he (Kano) said "you are no good". This
chap will be here until you learn to fight that sort of thing. Only
then will you have a better saika-tanden than he. He is better than any
one of you, therefore you have to learn.*******************************


Bob

Any other refference to who that 14 yr old boy was and where he had trained? I have a theory I'd like to explore.


Szczepan
You are missing the point entirely. it is not about technique and it is why Ueshiba watched and felt tenryu (who did these exercises and body training skills) and started pushing and shoving and had Tenryu pushing on Him. Why would Ueshiba train this way? What value is there and standing there and having someone push on you Szczepan? WIthout using technique. Anything you can think of?
HE said...not me..."This is not my Aikido" while watching all the big dogs playing at the hombu.
Takeda got it
Sagawa got it
Ueshiba got it
Kodo Got it
Harrison wrote of it from a Judo source, then from an Aikijujutsu source
Draeger, Smith, and Relnick all felt it and at various times wrote of it
Amdur felt it and spoke of it
Many modern artists including gold medal Judoka and 6 th dan judoka who could not get near Sagawa and were thrown wrote of it
Stan Pranin saw it and saw a 5 th dan Aikidoka tossed around like a baby by Sagawa
Rob has now enocuntered it and is doing thing with it
I have written of my own experiences stopping Aikido, Jujutsuka and CMAers
Now we read of Kano bringin in a 14 yr ol who could not be thrown.
A 14 YR OLD.....................

I have wondered how it is that these skills, this knowledge has gone on so long, and been written about by so many disparate voices spanning generations (When Harrison asked the Aikijujutsu master if many men in Japan knew this he was told "Very, very few") I am left with three things that stick

1. A double menkyo Kaedan in Japanese Koryu- a very well known chap said to me.
"Dan, I was young and stupid. I had it, right there in front of me and I didn't recognize that THAT was what I should be training for. Instead I sent my life learning ways to fight. Now in his later years he is going back to move forward."

2. All the very reasonable people who read these boards for information and shmoosing who have been led astray by good hearted folks who are in pursuit of a quasy religous nether land Ki that never existed and have squandered their lives contemplating their navels with no power to show for it-so that people with their feet on the ground no longer believe there is anything other than what they know

3. People who train and are shown real world ways to re-wire their minds and bodies and just wont do the work. All while showing up and going nuts over the pwer they feel from a teacher, but they don't work outside the dojo.

Stop and think. In the fullness of time-how do these tales from Pranin, Harrison, Sagawa, Kano exist?

Because single men stood in the face of mediocrity. We had to have had the masses in Budo slogging away at joint locks, kicks and throws to be the mediocre stage-background for the internal art searchers who mastered the real skills. Their understanding went beyond a way to punch, a way to throw, into the very core of what it was to live, breathe, and move and came away with a way to be powerful- past any single art.

I am starting to get why they never wrote about it and were almost to a man reclusive in teaching the real stuff. There just isn't any point. It will always be this way.

A 14 yr old......at the Kodokan who could not be thrown....
Why does that sound familiar
People who say they can't be or are very hard to throw......
Where have I read about that?

Dan

DH
07-13-2006, 07:36 AM
How can you know what is fundamental in aikido as you don't practice aikido? You know nothing about it.You cant even guess.

I don't lecture about what engineer or architect must understand as basic of his art, because I'm neither engineer nor architect. It would be very silly.

You misunderstood other point also. 30 years of training is needed to develop conditioning body and mind. 99.9999.....% ppl who start aikido have virtually no experience in any other MA, or even sports. How can you compare them with Tenryu?? Your arguments fail in all line.

If thats the kind of reply I get after a well thought out post to you. Then I am not going to bother. I offered you my time and respect.
We don't agree, I see that. But I expected more depth in rebuttal.


There are things Szczepan that you simply do not know.

Cheers anyway
Dan

bob_stra
07-13-2006, 07:37 AM
Dan

There is no reference to who the boy was. Someone suggested it may have been Saigo, but I think there's a great deal of evidence against that. Saigo died early 1920's. Feldenkrais didn't hook up with kano till after 1921/22, so there's no way he could have seen a *young*, 14yr old Saigo in action when he visited the Kodokan, circa 1923-1930.

YMMV

Why - who do you suspect it is? I'd like to know myself

DH
07-13-2006, 07:55 AM
Dan

There is no reference to who the boy was. Someone suggested it may have been Saigo, but I think there's a great deal of evidence against that. Saigo died early 1920's. Feldenkrais didn't hook up with kano till after 1921/22, so there's no way he could have seen a *young*, 14yr old Saigo in action when he visited the Kodokan, circa 1923-1930.

YMMV


Why - who do you suspect it is? I'd like to know myself


Well I have several ideas I'd look at. Does he know WHEN that occured?
P.M me and then if I find anything I 'll write ya

Cheers
Dan

Ron Tisdale
07-13-2006, 08:09 AM
Hi Robert,

I got your meaning just fine. I thought it was very well put...

Best,
Ron

gdandscompserv
07-13-2006, 08:16 AM
What is "Imao"?
it is probably another useful concept in aikido practice :D :D :D :D :D :D
it is!
one of O Sensei's rules for training Aikido;
Training should always be conducted in a pleasant and joyful atmosphere. :cool:

Mark Freeman
07-13-2006, 08:20 AM
it is!
one of O Sensei's rules for training Aikido;
Training should always be conducted in a pleasant and joyful atmosphere. :cool:

You beat me to it Ricky, I was going to say the same :cool:

When one is laughing they are likely to have the relaxed state that is needed for aikido, however if they are laughing too hard, this can be counterproductive! :D :D

cheers,

Mark
p.s. lmao!

gdandscompserv
07-13-2006, 08:23 AM
99.9999.....% ppl who start aikido have virtually no experience in any other MA, or even sports.
where ever did you get that statistic?

Mark Freeman
07-13-2006, 08:45 AM
where ever did you get that statistic?

Opinion stated as fact, I thought you would know Ricky, it's what the Internet was invented for ;)

regards,

Mark

gdandscompserv
07-13-2006, 08:51 AM
Doh!

billybob
07-13-2006, 08:57 AM
Rob,

I must apologize as well. I was angry with my wife when I posted, and that tone came across as aggressive. Also, I did not read the links. So, I apologize. Thank you for your candor.

Dan Harden: I've just trained with one of the highest Chen Tai chi men in the world from Chen village and twenty of his students doing push hands. I told them "I can't do Tai chi, I don' know Tai chi, that I've never done Tai chi." A mere four hours in they told me I had better internal skills than them. And that I could help fix their Tai chi.

Dan, peace be with you.

david

ChrisMoses
07-13-2006, 09:29 AM
I mean this as a genuine question to S.

How do you reconcile the fact that the Chief Instructor of the Aikikai at a time when most of the instructors you trace yourself back to were uchideshi, considers the One Point concept one of the four core principles of Aikido?

Larry Cuvin
07-13-2006, 10:06 AM
Another phenomenon that perplexes me is the unliftable body when one "keeps the one point", even with two large persons lifting. When I went back home to the Philippines, as an experiment, I taught my young nephew who probably weighed about 65 lbs the concept of mind and body coordination and one point. He was able to do the unbendable arm relatively easy considering no experience in any concepts of MA. To show his dad the concept as well, we both tried lifting his son while his son kept the one point. When we could not lift his kid, he asked me why and I could not explain. I told him it's beyond Physics so I don't know.

To me, the concept of keeping one point and the coordination of mind and body is the main thing that gets me coming back to the dojo time after time. I'm on my second year in ki aikido and the ki class every training day has made realize to relax more and extend plus ki to everyone. The aikido class that follows the ki class, I consider the "cherry on top". Ki training, I consider the "real meat". I know I have a lifetime of improving to do.

Plus Ki

Mark Freeman
07-13-2006, 10:57 AM
Have to say, having met Mike at one of his workshops when he was in the UK recently, I didn't get this impression at all.
I certainly appreciate any instructor who gets the beers in off their own bat and found him nothing but pleasant and willing to discuss things.

Mark, I don't think the added twists of the thread have done anything but reveal the "One Points" true source - it's whatever I damn well say it is at this point in time. With that in mind, the answer boils down to the nice little homily of "ask your sensei what they think it is" and act accordingly.

Ian,

perhaps we measure character differently over here, "mines a pint, thanks" ;)
I know someone who was also at Mike's recent UK visit, he gave a positive report of both him and the material shown.

Your advice about asking your sensei, is of course correct (damn you :p ).

cheers,

Mark

billybob
07-13-2006, 11:16 AM
Venerable Ian Hurst said Mark, I don't think the added twists of the thread have done anything but reveal the "One Points" true source - it's whatever I damn well say it is at this point in time. With that in mind, the answer boils down to the nice little homily of "ask your sensei what they think it is" and act accordingly.

I disagree. Sensei facilitates MY learning. My teacher is the same teacher OSensei had - life. I am responsible for what I learn. Sensei gets credit for putting up with me. I have to do the learning.

Regarding the 'one point' or hara, or ki - I'll 'TRUST MY GUT'

thanks

david

Ron Tisdale
07-13-2006, 11:43 AM
Dan explained that in detail in the Jo trick thread. Go back and re-read that rather than rehash it here...I would think.

Best,
Ron

akiy
07-13-2006, 11:56 AM
Let's please get back on-topic here, folks. Thank you.

-- Jun

Adman
07-13-2006, 01:32 PM
Okay, Jun. I'll take a stab.
It is not a 'point' but an 'area' located just below the navel,Actually, from what I understand of Tohei sensei's teachings, the 'one point' is a single point. Not an area. Being a principle of the mind, while you can place tension in an area, you cannot place tension in a single point.

I could write more, but I'd only get confused. And I have a meeting in 15 minutes.

thanks,
Adam

Adam Alexander
07-13-2006, 04:17 PM
Is it simply the point of balance?

And how does concentrating on it help me do things like unbendable arm? I assume that I'm subconsicously rearranging my weight/balance, or using other muscles?

Would O Sensei have considered it the place where Ki is stored, or something like that?

I believe I know what it is. I think I found it about a year ago.

I would recommend that you train nearly everyday (if not every day). Do lots of kata. When you're ready, just like all of it, you'll discover it by accident.

Atleast that's what I think happened to me.

Oh, and I forgot: If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't spend a moment worrying about those things. I'd just practice movements. Seems like everything else just comes when necessary.

I kind of figure that all that "center" and "harmony" stuff is very valuable. However, it's like when you meditate and try to force something out of your mind. It just gets stronger. When you focus on things like "center" before it's time, seems like you'd just be holding on stronger to how you're doing it now.

I don't know. Hell, I really don't know. But it just seems that like that's been my experience.

akiy
07-13-2006, 05:15 PM
Dan and Mike's off-topic discussion as well as related posts have been moved here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10649

-- Jun

dps
07-14-2006, 01:19 AM
Dan and Mike's off-topic discussion as well as related posts have been moved here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10649

-- Jun
Maybe they should get their own website(www.danandmike.com) for their discussions(?). :)

happysod
07-14-2006, 02:29 AM
I disagree. Sensei facilitates MY learning. My teacher is the same teacher OSensei had - life. I am responsible for what I learn. Sensei gets credit for putting up with me. I have to do the learning Agree up to a point, however, the ethos within your dojo will slant how you learn, what areas are concentrated on and the nature of that understanding. Which is why aikiweb provides us with the gamut from the great satsumas "don't think just kill" to "rocks can talk and have feelings". The is one of the main benefits I believe forums provide - alternate viewpoints and (hopefully) new ideas.

Generally, my use of one point is the fairly basic - essentially the point on your waist about 2-3 fingers below your navel, the point used in tai-chi for standing meditation. Not the same as your centre as this should change depending on your connection with your partner (I nearly said uke, but as uke you still should be keeping your centre - naughty me)

Anyway - venerable? am I really sounding that old... must start reading the adverts for the big slipper and the hairy old man fuzz-away products to keep up with ymy trendy new status

Mark - beer's always a good leveller, I'll have a small port and lemon

Mark Freeman
07-14-2006, 02:35 AM
Agree up to a point, however, the ethos within your dojo will slant how you learn, what areas are concentrated on and the nature of that understanding. Which is why aikiweb provides us with the gamut from the great satsumas "don't think just kill" to "rocks can talk and have feelings". The is one of the main benefits I believe forums provide - alternate viewpoints and (hopefully) new ideas.

Generally, my use of one point is the fairly basic - essentially the point on your waist about 2-3 fingers below your navel, the point used in tai-chi for standing meditation. Not the same as your centre as this should change depending on your connection with your partner (I nearly said uke, but as uke you still should be keeping your centre - naughty me)

Anyway - venerable? am I really sounding that old... must start reading the adverts for the big slipper and the hairy old man fuzz-away products to keep up with ymy trendy new status

Mark - beer's always a good leveller, I'll have a small port and lemon

To the Venerable Ian Hurst :D

good 'points' o wise one, I am envious of your newly raised status on these esteemed fora, but port and lemon? is this drink really befitting of your new status? ;)

Cheers,

Mark
p.s. I'm afraid I still only qualify for a beer.

billybob
07-14-2006, 07:49 AM
Funny how even showing respect is 'atemi' in a way.

I showed respect then cut in as hard as I could. And yes Ian, taking that kind of thrust in stride, as did one other when I attacked in anger on this thread, is venerable!

I agree that environment slants; just making the point that I'm responsible for my own training.

david

tedehara
07-14-2006, 06:01 PM
We are not discussing here how to do the techniques. The topic here is how 'concepts' (particularly One Point Concept) are useful in aikido training,...If you could just clarify this. Are you saying that only the concept and system of one point isn't worth pursuing, or are you saying all theoretical concepts and systems aren't worth doing as opposed to practice-on-the-mat, in order to advance in understanding aikido?
:confused: confused

NagaBaba
07-14-2006, 07:33 PM
If you could just clarify this. Are you saying that only the concept and system of one point isn't worth pursuing, or are you saying all theoretical concepts and systems aren't worth doing as opposed to practice-on-the-mat, in order to advance in understanding aikido?
:confused: confused

IMO aikido is not 'conceptual' practice. It is purely physical training. Source of 'body knowledge' are physical techniques. These 'pure' techniques should form our understanding of aikido.

However many intelligent and highly educated ppl find this Way too boring. They develop concepts (taking as the source of those concepts mainly ideas or domains that has nothing to do with aikido) and are trying to adapt techniques to these concepts. That makes distortions and false the results. This way 'transmission' from a Founder is lost for ever and these ppl get confused and lost their Way.

dps
07-14-2006, 07:47 PM
IMO aikido is not 'conceptual' practice. It is purely physical training. Source of 'body knowledge' are physical techniques. These 'pure' techniques should form our understanding of aikido.
You could say that O'Sensei did the concept work and left us the physical techniques or body knowledge as his Way.

However many intelligent and highly educated ppl find this Way too boring. .
I would also add" many people who think they are."

NagaBaba
07-14-2006, 07:47 PM
where ever did you get that statistic?

Have you ever been to any big seminar? I suggest you go and observe how ppl move, their stamina, body coordination...etc. I'm talking here about beginners.

Founder 'beginners' students were very well developed martial artist from different styles. So he could use different teaching tools.
Presently it is impossible.

NagaBaba
07-14-2006, 08:26 PM
I mean this as a genuine question to S.

How do you reconcile the fact that the Chief Instructor of the Aikikai at a time when most of the instructors you trace yourself back to were uchideshi, considers the One Point concept one of the four core principles of Aikido?

How do you reconcile the fact that the Founder himself concidered that goal of aikido is Unification with Univers human being that stands in Silver Bridge between Heaven and Earth, and you are not even unified with tatami? :D

K.Tohei is one of most sophisticated aikido masters, if you think you as a simple mortal, you can use tools from his level your are or naive or hopeless optimist.

tedehara
07-14-2006, 09:37 PM
IMO aikido is not 'conceptual' practice. It is purely physical training. Source of 'body knowledge' are physical techniques. These 'pure' techniques should form our understanding of aikido...Thanks for clearing up my confusion on your perspective. I thought that would be your answer, but I wasn't sure if you were just talking about "one point" or conceptual practice as a whole.

aikigirl10
07-14-2006, 09:39 PM
K.Tohei is one of most sophisticated aikido masters, if you think you as a simple mortal, you can use tools from his level your are or naive or hopeless optimist.

simple mortal? lmao

what does that make you? ...a cockroach?

I guess Tohei was Madonna....

gdandscompserv
07-14-2006, 10:27 PM
Have you ever been to any big seminar?
seminars seem more popular here in America than they were in Okinawa.
of course, there really wasn't a need for it when you had the very best Aikido in one's "backyard."
i do remember Moriteru Ueshiba Sensei dropping by for a couple of dan examinations. that was always cool.
:D

Mark Freeman
07-15-2006, 09:45 AM
IMO aikido is not 'conceptual' practice. It is purely physical training. Source of 'body knowledge' are physical techniques. These 'pure' techniques should form our understanding of aikido.

However many intelligent and highly educated ppl find this Way too boring. They develop concepts (taking as the source of those concepts mainly ideas or domains that has nothing to do with aikido) and are trying to adapt techniques to these concepts. That makes distortions and false the results. This way 'transmission' from a Founder is lost for ever and these ppl get confused and lost their Way.

I would like to offer an opposing opinion, aikido is 'not' a purely physical training, it of course involves physical training but the mind is not on holiday when practicing. If the body 'and mind' are not co-ordinated then in my view aiki is not present. Training the mind to be in the right place at the right time are as much apart of aikido as the physical movements.

O Sensei didn't come up with aikido for the express purpose of conditioning just the body, my simple take on his teachings are that aikido is a system to co-ordinate mind, body and spirit. Through constant training we battle with the only opponent we face every day, ourselves.

If you train just the 'physical' fine, up to you, but please don't try to diminish the intelligence of others who may not subscribe to your may I say, limited interpretation.

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
07-15-2006, 09:50 AM
How do you reconcile the fact that the Founder himself concidered that goal of aikido is Unification with Univers human being that stands in Silver Bridge between Heaven and Earth, and you are not even unified with tatami? :D

K.Tohei is one of most sophisticated aikido masters, if you think you as a simple mortal, you can use tools from his level your are or naive or hopeless optimist.

Call me a naive hopless optimist who is only a simple mortal :D, but Tohei formulated his ki development exercises for the purpose of passing on his understanding to people who didn't have what he had but wanted it. When practicing what he taught, we of course can't function at his level, but through diligent practice, we can get closer to what he did. It's not rocket science. ;)

regards,

Mark

Mike Sigman
07-15-2006, 09:54 AM
When practicing what he taught, we of course can't function at his level, but through diligent practice, we can get closer to what he did. It's not rocket science. ;) Bollocks, if you'll pardon the expression. If you know what someone else does and you work smarter and harder, you can pass them. All heroes are human.

FWIW

Mike

Mark Freeman
07-15-2006, 10:03 AM
Bollocks, if you'll pardon the expression. If you know what someone else does and you work smarter and harder, you can pass them. All heroes are human.

FWIW

Mike

Mike,

I agree with you, I was just trying to respond to the wild man of the north, who seemed to raise Tohei to some unattainable level by mere mortals.

I don't mind the use of the vernacular, keeps it real ;)

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
07-15-2006, 10:13 AM
Bollocks, if you'll pardon the expression. If you know what someone else does and you work smarter and harder, you can pass them. All heroes are human.

FWIW

Mike

Mike,

p.s. I don't have any heroes only some people I respect more than others.

Would you say that your aikido has surpassed Tohei's? ;)

regards,

Mark

ChrisMoses
07-15-2006, 03:27 PM
How do you reconcile the fact that the Founder himself concidered that goal of aikido is Unification with Univers human being that stands in Silver Bridge between Heaven and Earth, and you are not even unified with tatami? :D

K.Tohei is one of most sophisticated aikido masters, if you think you as a simple mortal, you can use tools from his level your are or naive or hopeless optimist.

1) Personally I've decided that I have nearly no idea what OSensei actually wanted for his creation, or how much of it was actually his creation. I think that at least 90% of what we know of Aikido came from other 'senior' instructors that had relatively little time with OSensei, then used all the many conflicting things he had to say to support their own adgenda. Kinda like how people use religious texts to support their own thing. (Like all of the homophopes quoting Leviticus to justify their insaine hatred and fear, and then then playing some football and chowing down on some ribs.) Then I decided to train with people who could explain physically how to reproduce all of the sensations I'd felt from senior Aikidoka. I'm not sure if it's even Aikido anymore, and don't particularly care. I'm reminded of my guitar teacher in junior high. I wanted to learn Van Hallen riffs, his response was, "Learn Jimmi first, if you have to learn where someone came from to understand where they went."

2) As others have pointed out, Tohei developed his *teaching model* around ki and concepts of ki. I believe your head is so fully buried within the dogmatic framework of mainline Aikikai that you can't even acknowledge other teching systems, even if they influenced those who you study from. You my friend will always take the blue pill and wake up tasting steak and chicken and never looking past what you've been told.

billybob
07-17-2006, 09:13 AM
Nagababa,

I respect your assertively stated opinions. It can be very powerful to describe what is true, and what is not true. Your approach can save you, or any students you have a great deal of time - if you are correct.

Thus, IMO aikido is not 'conceptual' practice. It is purely physical training. Source of 'body knowledge' are physical techniques. These 'pure' techniques should form our understanding of aikido. - Nagababa

When you face multiple opponents, and you have three to six seconds before the signal to begin, do you strategize? Do you size up the people, consider their strengths and weaknesses? Or do you waste the three to six seconds and hope your 'highly trained instincts' carry you through?

In my humble opinion it's a pity to waste the time.

david

NagaBaba
07-17-2006, 11:03 AM
When you face multiple opponents, and you have three to six seconds before the signal to begin, do you strategize? Do you size up the people, consider their strengths and weaknesses? Or do you waste the three to six seconds and hope your 'highly trained instincts' carry you through?

In my humble opinion it's a pity to waste the time.

david
Looks like you don't practice aikido as a Budo.
Facing multiple opponents there is no "signal to begin" -- this concept came from sport-like approach. It has nothing to do with aikido practice.

Because you don't practice aikido as a Budo, you don't apply Founder teaching -- one must control opponent before attack starts.This should be your strategy :D It is particulary true facing multiple opponents.
So my answer is no I don't waste time to size up the people, consider their strengths and weaknesses..etc.
Please meditate about that. ;)

billybob
07-17-2006, 11:38 AM
"Looks like you don't practice aikido as a Budo.
Facing multiple opponents there is no "signal to begin" -- this concept came from sport-like approach. It has nothing to do with aikido practice.

Because you don't practice aikido as a Budo, you don't apply Founder teaching -- one must control opponent before attack starts.This should be your strategy It is particulary true facing multiple opponents.
So my answer is no I don't waste time to size up the people, consider their strengths and weaknesses..etc.
Please meditate about that. "

No point meditating on your advice Sir. Do you realize you answer according to the same formula every time on this web? You indicate the questioner does not understand the True Way, you fail to answer the question posed, and then suggest said questioner refer to some obtuse unanswerable mystery that you alone grasp. Sir, I propose that if you can not, will not, answer questions posed that you stop wasting our time and hold your tongue.

OSensei was a man; I am a man. The universe teaches me as it taught him. This is enough.

David

NagaBaba
07-17-2006, 08:37 PM
Sir, I propose that if you can not, will not, answer questions posed that you stop wasting our time and hold your tongue.
David
Your proposition was rejected.

dps
07-17-2006, 08:54 PM
Nagababa,When you face multiple opponents, and you have three to six seconds before the signal to begin, do you strategize? Do you size up the people, consider their strengths and weaknesses? Or do you waste the three to six seconds and hope your 'highly trained instincts' carry you through?

In competition yes, in real life maybe no. If you have three to six seconds to strategize, tell a joke or run like hell!! If you have no time you must rely on 'highly trained instincts' and mushy mind, wait, no musin no shin, no musin no mushim, you know react without thinking.

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-18-2006, 02:45 AM
Your proposition was rejected.

I like you, you of unspellable name. :cool:

I wuoldsay, at this moment in my training, that "highly trained instincts" is "highly trained" but not "instinct". I train to "stand", and focus on this throughout whatever movement I make of contact there is with the others. If I fail to remain "standing" (or "sitting" for that matter) no power issues forth, so I concentrate solely on the "standing" part. The rest takes care of itself, in the background.

billybob
07-18-2006, 09:41 AM
Nagababa Your proposition was rejected.

Good! I wouldn't expect someone of good character to take that at face value. I was in fact trying to make a point.

Will you entertain the discussion Sir? I intend it as training -- and I will show you the respect you are due.

David

Guilty Spark
07-18-2006, 01:33 PM
What advice could you guys give to non-dan aikidoa on how to begin to find their one point and start to use it in their aikido?

Adam Alexander
07-18-2006, 02:31 PM
What advice could you guys give to non-dan aikidoa on how to begin to find their one point and start to use it in their aikido?

If I'm on the right path, I'd say that I'm discovering/developing it by sticking with the warm-up exercises and practicing.

Upyu
07-18-2006, 04:18 PM
I like you, you of unspellable name. :cool:

I wuoldsay, at this moment in my training, that "highly trained instincts" is "highly trained" but not "instinct". I train to "stand", and focus on this throughout whatever movement I make of contact there is with the others. If I fail to remain "standing" (or "sitting" for that matter) no power issues forth, so I concentrate solely on the "standing" part. The rest takes care of itself, in the background.

And so really really really good advice goes un-noticed. Funny how that works isn't it Gernot? :D

MaryKaye
07-18-2006, 04:53 PM
What advice could you guys give to non-dan aikidoa on how to begin to find their one point and start to use it in their aikido?

As a kyu rank myself, I'd say that the "partner funekogi" exercise was one of the best for me. Funekogi is the rowing exercise where you move your hips forward, then thrust out your arms; move your hips back, then retract your arms. The partner version adds someone holding you by both wrists.

This is very unforgiving if you are off-balance, not moving from your center, or leaving out the hip movements and trying to use your arms. If partner is well-balanced himself he can easily stop you, whereas if you do it right, you can move almost anyone.

Another good one is the "stooping" ki test. You stand in hanmi and then bend over as if you intend to tie your shoe. You should be low enough that your fingers brush the top of your foot. Partner pushes your hips forward from behind. The difference between having bent over "from one point" and in other ways is immediately (and embarrassingly) evident.

When you have a feeling for this, you can take a technique that is not working very well and look for places where you can move more like you move in those exercises. Experiment; see what happens.

Mary Kaye

Mike Sigman
07-18-2006, 05:23 PM
(snip) If partner is well-balanced himself he can easily stop you, whereas if you do it right, you can move almost anyone.

Another good one is the "stooping" ki test. You stand in hanmi and then bend over as if you intend to tie your shoe. You should be low enough that your fingers brush the top of your foot. Partner pushes your hips forward from behind. The difference between having bent over "from one point" and in other ways is immediately (and embarrassingly) evident. In both cases, the optimum response has partner's force and/or uke's response coming as much from the foot as possible. A resistance from higher in the body simply provides a lever-arm from which to break the foot's connection with the ground. I.e., "keeping the one point" in this case means the same thing that "sinking the qi" means.... source the force from as low as possible in the body. When done correctly, it is easy to feel the compression in the foot.

That was a good post, Mary.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-18-2006, 10:42 PM
In both cases, the optimum response has partner's force and/or uke's response coming as much from the foot as possible. A resistance from higher in the body simply provides a lever-arm from which to break the foot's connection with the ground. I.e., "keeping the one point" in this case means the same thing that "sinking the qi" means.... source the force from as low as possible in the body. When done correctly, it is easy to feel the compression in the foot.

That was a good post, Mary.

Very enlightening stuff! I wonder if this is similar: standing in the train facing direction of motion, and remaining standing against any de/acceleration. Acceleration is the killer. When managing to "pull oneself up" against either, which I do by forcing myself to stretch upwards through the spine (focussing on the neck area) even more strongly, then the ankles and roof of the feet seem to alternately float or pull (and the weight settle in the heels in both cases). An important factor seems to be whether the waist area (say between the top of the hips and the ribs) can be felt to be stretched apart. Once that feeling is reached (on top of pulling up from the back of the neck) the effort of remaining straight (not bending at the center) is no longer felt as an effort.

I do find it hard to balance "upward stretch" with "relaxation" and "focus on center", so I was happy to see that what I wrote about above made a big difference in how "relaxed" I felt to the partner in the dojo even though the "upward stretch" remained the same focus as before. It's like if you aren't really stretching the partner can feel the tension (due to separation of upper and lower and the subsequent action of muscles to support the "floating" upper part), but if you are stretching really all the parts, the partner feels the ground. I think :confused: !

Regards,
Gernot

Mark Freeman
07-19-2006, 04:29 AM
As a kyu rank myself, I'd say that the "partner funekogi" exercise was one of the best for me. Funekogi is the rowing exercise where you move your hips forward, then thrust out your arms; move your hips back, then retract your arms. The partner version adds someone holding you by both wrists.

This is very unforgiving if you are off-balance, not moving from your center, or leaving out the hip movements and trying to use your arms. If partner is well-balanced himself he can easily stop you, whereas if you do it right, you can move almost anyone.

This is a good exercise for highlighting if someone is moving from 'one point'.

I have found that there are two distinct types of uke for this exercise, the first is where the (well co-ordinated) uke holds the outstretched wrists and if the partner does not move correctly from their centre, they stay put, thereby showing up the fault in tori's movement. The second is when the uke moves with 'non resistance' by this I mean that they follow tori's movement completely, if the movement is being done with any tension this will manifest by the co-ordinated uke following this to its conclusion, which usually means moving tori backwards. This second method is a higher level of testing as it requires uke to be totally non resistant, something that comes with a fair amount of practice as most people do not step onto the mat with this skill.

Great exercise, easy to get wrong, easy to get right ;)

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
07-19-2006, 04:59 AM
What advice could you guys give to non-dan aikidoa on how to begin to find their one point and start to use it in their aikido?

Hi Grant,

a short story....

before I started aikido, I picked up Tohei's book Aikido in Daily life, I was on a trip abroad, and after reading just a couple of chapters decided that when I got home I would start ( and never stop! ) this art.

Anyway, I spent the summer working for a friend up in the Gaspe Penninsular, who owned a fish restaurant. The first day I was there we went out into the sea in a zodiac ( inflatable ) type boat, to catch the evenings mackerel for supper. Things were going well, our bucket was full of fish ;), then we noticed the weather closing in pretty fast, we were quite a way out, so we decided to head back at full speed.
I was sitting to one side near the front, holding onto the bow rope, the rain had started, the wind was getting up and the sea was getting choppy. I could see the shore, but knew there was about 15-20 minutes of flat out motoring to get back.
I had a tight grip on the rope, I was being bounced around quite roughly on the inflatable side, my jaws were glamped tight shut and my eyes were squinted. I was a mass of tension, and I thought, I'll be lucky to last the next 15 mins. It then crossed my mind to try to use the 'one point' concept that I had read about in the book. So I just let everything in my mind 'sink' to below my navel, and within seconds, I found that I was able to release my tight grip on the rope, my balance became connected with the surface I was sitting on, my eyes opened and I even started to enjoy the feeling of the riain hitting my face ( quite hard! ). My journey back was transformed from one of dread to one of exhilarated enjoyment. I stepped onto dry land invigorated and 'transformed'. I knew from that moment that knowing about or rather using 'one point' was a useful everyday state. I still after 14 years of aikido think that, even more so.

Finding your one point is easy, keeping the 'feeling' is not so easy and is where the practice comes in. Finding the right teacher to reinforce the practice is also useful. Relaxation, breath work, mental imagary / meditation, all help to reinforce the state.

regards,

Mark

happysod
07-19-2006, 06:53 AM
Partner pushes your hips forward from behind. The difference between having bent over "from one point" and in other ways is immediately (and embarrassingly) evident. Please god no, not the shoe-lace test Mary, I've been trying to get that one banned for years on the grounds you look like a complete and utter perv doing it...

Continuing the possible exercises - use just the compression part of say undo so the arm is already across ukes chest, try to get the feeling of sinking into your "one point" and having an effect. Make sure there's no semaphore of the arms or upward body strength used and that the other hand is used during the say undo, not just dangling.

Assuming that works, a three person exercise with the say undo exercise on the move, both ukes varying the distance nage has to travel to them - adds a bit of stress to the test

Robert Rumpf
07-19-2006, 11:07 AM
Mike Sigman - your posts (on several threads) here have been very helpful in terms of explaining what you're interested in, in no uncertain terms. I now understand better the comments you made about my comments being tangential to what you believe is the essence of the concept (and consequently, unhelpful).

I suppose I could have done research or understood what you meant better from your responses, but I can be a bit dense. Thanks for continuing to post.

That said, let me ask you a different question... What do you think about the available literature out there on this subject? Is it helpful or accurate in terms of useful exercises and concepts?

Two examples that come to mind are:
Ki in Daily Life, by Koichi Tohei
Ki in Aikido: A Sampler of Ki Exercises, by C. M. Shifflett

Do you have anything that you could recommend as being interesting or insightful from the Chinese side of things (or at least things not in mainstream Aikido, which is where my interests have been)?

Videos would count too..

Thanks,
Rob

Mike Sigman
07-19-2006, 11:31 AM
That said, let me ask you a different question... What do you think about the available literature out there on this subject? Is it helpful or accurate in terms of useful exercises and concepts?

Two examples that come to mind are:
Ki in Daily Life, by Koichi Tohei
Ki in Aikido: A Sampler of Ki Exercises, by C. M. Shifflett Well, I've read (in the past) all the Tohei stuff I could get my hands on and, to be frank, I don't think it tells you how to do much. Just as a simple example, the essence of "breathing to the dantien" is to gradually build up the "pressure", etc., in the abdominal area (I'm speaking generally to make a point). If that point is not made, all the talk about "breathe the Ki of the Universe to your One Point" is off the topic or even misleading. Constantly, Tohei stays, in my opinion, on the unproductive or on the self-aggrandizing. I wouldn't recommend his books, even though I looked with the greatest positive hopes for years at his stuff.

I bought one of Carol Shifflett's books and I think they're nice books and that she's a good person. But just copying exercises without knowing how to arrange the mind and forces and pressures won't lead anywhere. It's like "doing a Taiji form" and expecting it to produce dramatic results in terms of self-defence, health, whatever. It won't happen. The secret is in how to manipulate the internal forces in the body and that's what "Ki exercises" are supposed to do, as well. It's always a dead end to "learn a form" or "learn an exercise" without having been shown how the body forces and pressures are manipulated inside. A form or an exercise is not any more effective than chanting some magical incantation, no matter how many times you do it.... *unless* you know how to manipulate the forces, etc. Do you have anything that you could recommend as being interesting or insightful from the Chinese side of things (or at least things not in mainstream Aikido, which is where my interests have been)?
It's one of those weird situations where most of the good books and videos that contain any good knowledge (and there are very few of those, in relation to the Ki stuff) don't do you any good unless you already have some knowledge. The good thing is that the basic principles of the ki and jin/kokyu stuff is the same throughout all the Asian martial arts, for all practical purposes. So your opportunities to gather information are enlarged with so many sources. Of course, it has to be borne in mind that many arts have developed different approaches to the use and training of these skills, so the way that a karate (or other style) guy uses/develops his skills may not be quite the same approach that Ueshiba used. The idea is to try to find the *principles* beneath the commonalities.

My best suggestion would be to get a foot in the door somehow and *then* start researching all the available training sources, but only those from the best known experts. Anyone can write a book or produce a video.... and they often do. ;)

Best.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
07-19-2006, 02:38 PM
I really appreciate where this thread has gone...thanks to all! Maybe if we keep this up we can ask Jun for our own sub-forum for this type of discussion.
Best,
Ron

Robert Rumpf
07-19-2006, 03:20 PM
only those from the best known experts

Ok.. so I guess what I'm asking is who those well known experts are. The main "best known expert" whose work is accessible to me that I can think of is Tohei, whose works you've said you didn't find particularly helpful.

The only people that I've seen do this stuff in a way that I found convincing are people who haven't been published, are not readily available to me, and for that matter don't speak English well. The one Japanese instructor whom I mentioned on another thread used to have us memorize Tohei's book of Ki Sayings, which gives you some idea of what he valued. Unfortunately, he is in Japan and I am not.

Those Ki Sayings have certainly given me much to think about, but I haven't been able to do much with them in terms of direct application to Aikido technique. Its probably due to the different focus that my training takes these days.

I guess I can reread your posts to see what you talk about in context... However, one source of information on anything leads to blind-spots and misinformation. Isn't it to late to worry about being misled?

I'd just like to ask again, will you please provide the names of known experts of this type of work in Aikido or other areas that use this knowledge? I'd prefer that they were people who have published or recorded information on this subject, or whom were local to me and spoke my language. I'll even try to hold off on looking at it until after I get a clue.

Or is such a request for information cheating...? It sounds like you're trying to do me (and others) the favor of not endorsing anything so as to discourage misinterpretation or distortion of truth.

Of course, here I sit on Aikiweb, in front of the Internet - a vast storehouse of useless and useful information. As I learn at work, any help on what is best (even help that is incorrect), and any indication on who has knows something useful or at least interesting helps to at least filter out the noise.

Can you please give some thought and provide some of this - even if I won't be able to currently understand it or may get misled?

I'd at least like to understand the terminology.

I've read lots of works on Zen, Aikido, and many other things by other people on martial arts. These things have had a very strong contribution to my knowledge of Aikido and my personal training, even though I don't know (or to be honest, care overly much) about whether or not I understand everything they say exactly and correctly on a first look, or whether or not I understand what they meant in the first place. It is a net gain.

What I'm interested in is accumulating enough knowledge (even the apocryphal knowledge) so that my intuition can make leaps on its own. I have found this approach to be helpful in the past.

In addition, if the movements in Aikido are rooted in these ideas, and I have some small amount of experience in Aikido, shouldn't I at some point (10 years from now) be able to connect at least some of the dots on my own, if I do enough exercises without understanding while listening to other people's words about what it should mean?

In fact, isn't that what learning martial arts is all about?

I don't mean to expression frustration, or attempt to beat a dead horse.

Rob

ChrisMoses
07-19-2006, 03:46 PM
Against my better judgement I'll attempt to offer some useful information (I try to limit my postings to sarcasm, personal insults and rhetoric but what the hey...). ;)

I got my shodan from Seikikai aikido and while not affiliated with Ki Society they used a lot of Tohei's teachings. This should be expected since Kurita Minouru left the Aikikai with Tohei, and then split off to become independant. Just for the record I don't really like "One Point" as a teaching tool. Tohei seemed to spend a great deal of time talking about the one point without offering much in the way of instruction as to what it actually was, or how really to use it. Just, "Keep One Point!" What I think he was getting at by stressing the one point was a way to connect your intent with your root and your extension. If your core isn't connecting your base (legs and feet) with your points of contact (hands and arms) and doing so in a coordinated way with you intention, your technique isn't going to go anywhere. There is a certain degree of tension required in the lower abdominal muscles to accomplish this. Focusing ones concentration on this part of the body also helps one relax some of the larger muscles that get pulled into a technique, but generally hamper what you're trying to do (biceps and pecs for example). It's hard to think about a muscle group and not tense it slightly, so other side benefits of "keeping one point' are inproved posture. One exercise I used to do was try to do my waza visualizing a string coming from my base foot, through the one point and then out to my connecting/driving hand. I don't know where I picked this up to be honest, I don't recall reading it in Tohei or hearing my teacher at the time talk about it.

I do have some problems with one point as a teaching methodology. If you're in a Ki Society dojo (or an offshoot i.e. Seikikai or Kokikai) you're going to have to learn to love it. I feel that it offers a convenient escape for instructors when they don't know how to explain how to do something, or do it better. "Sensei, I can't make Karl fall down..." "AHA! You're not keepingonepointextendingkikeepingweightunderside! Now try it!" Um, yeah, thanks. I think it also offers a black feather to students, meaning that they get the sense that if they simply believe enough about their one point all their waza will work. If they blow a technique, they weren't concentrating on one point enough. I also feel that the 'exercises' that are used in the Ki Society do little to actually develop the skills that would help the student use the one point. They ammount more to tests, rather than exercises if that makes any sense. I don't think you should test someone to teach it to them.

Hope that helps.

Mike Sigman
07-19-2006, 03:49 PM
The only people that I've seen do this stuff in a way that I found convincing are people who haven't been published, are not readily available to me, and for that matter don't speak English well. I agree, it's a problem. I read a very "spot-on" interview in Aikido Journal with Inaba Sensei that was perfect, but unfortunately, it's an interview for the simple reason that he doesn't speak English. Gernot Hassenpflug studies with Abe Sensei and everything that Gernot posts here and on other lists from Abe is pretty dead-on stuff, even though it's apparent that Abe is limiting how much he reveals. The point is that a lot of what we know in the West is based mostly on very limited translated material. The result is that you have English-speaking forums like this one in which the level of knowledge is simply limited... which limits the available resources greatly. I.e., I don't have a simple answer for you in terms of good resources. Maybe a request should be put out to the Japanese speakers like Gernot, Rob John, and some others who actually are getting a grip on these body mechanics and ask them to help by forwarding any germane material they encounter in Japanese writings. This sort of stuff conveyed by them would be an enormous help to the western Aikido community, IMO. I guess I can reread your posts to see what you talk about in context... However, one source of information on anything leads to blind-spots and misinformation. Isn't it to late to worry about being misled? I agree, but attempts have to be made to limit the damage by curtailing how much of the current misinformation continues to be used as "source material" by "experienced Aikido teachers". No offense to anyone, but this is a big obstacle. It sounds like you're trying to do me (and others) the favor of not endorsing anything so as to discourage misinterpretation or distortion of truth. Well, of course there's no such thing as someone with all the information... no one is the perfect source, although for all practical purposes people like Abe, Tohei, and some others know enough that neophytes quibbling over their credentials is a waste of time. Anyone that knows more than me/us is a viable source, assuming they're giving up some of that information demonstrably.What I'm interested in is accumulating enough knowledge (even the apocryphal knowledge) so that my intuition can make leaps on its own. I have found this approach to be helpful in the past. I've tried to lay out the general picture before, as best I can considering the limitations of the written word. Ultimately, there is (1.) the mental manipulation and strengthening of forces and some usually-autonomic areas of the body's fascia-related structures, (2.) the strengthening all over of the fascia-related structures, and (3.) a type of "feeling" or even a real set of electro-magnetic phenomena related to the fascia-related structures. This set of 3 main features are the holistic makeup of the body's "ki". Everything described as "ki" is going to be some combination of those factors. And when I didn't have any substantive knowledge about those 3 factors, I would have been the first to scoff at the idea of them... it's something that has to be shown. But once someone is shown, those leaps and extrapolations are possible, so your plan is a good one, IMO. In addition, if the movements in Aikido are rooted in these ideas, and I have some small amount of experience in Aikido, shouldn't I at some point (10 years from now) be able to connect at least some of the dots on my own, if I do enough exercises without understanding while listening to other people's words about what it should mean?Well, different people have different amounts of information on these things and the average is pretty low, not only in Aikido but in other arts as well. So the actual time you've spent "doing Aikido" doesn't really tell us much. Take a look at Gernot, as an example... he studies with a teacher that I have no problem pointing at and saying "he knows", yet Gernot will be the first to tell you that because Abe Sensei knows something doesn't mean that all of his students know what Abe knows, even if they'd studied with Abe for a lengthy period of time.

Frustratin', ain't it? ;)

Regards,

Mike

MaryKaye
07-19-2006, 05:47 PM
I feel that it offers a convenient escape for instructors when they don't know how to explain how to do something, or do it better. "Sensei, I can't make Karl fall down..." "AHA! You're not keepingonepointextendingkikeepingweightunderside! Now try it!" Um, yeah, thanks. I think it also offers a black feather to students, meaning that they get the sense that if they simply believe enough about their one point all their waza will work. If they blow a technique, they weren't concentrating on one point enough.

If I understood him correctly, Shinichi Tohei sensei has been saying lately "Learn what the needed feeling is by concentrating on one point, so that you can maintain it without concentrating on one point; otherwise your mind will be busy concentrating all the time and you'll never get anything done."

It's a toss-up, for any specific throw, whether the Four Principles-based explanation is going to do me any good. But that seems to be the case for any explanation at all. I've never had a teacher who could always tell me how to fix something. I think it might require magic. Being a verbal learner, I really enjoy Ki Society's attempts to do it, even though they don't always work: "train in silence" approaches don't work for me at all.


I also feel that the 'exercises' that are used in the Ki Society do little to actually develop the skills that would help the student use the one point. They ammount more to tests, rather than exercises if that makes any sense. I don't think you should test someone to teach it to them.

My teachers are pretty insistent that "test" is a misnomer. The partner-funekogi that I described works as an exercise for me. I agree that some of them, particularly "unbendable arm", don't particularly.

I worked on the techniques related to the "shoe-tying" test and fell over a lot; it was practicing that doggone test, over and over, with consequent embarrassment, that finally allowed me to do them.

What would you recommend as exercises for this?

Mary Kaye

Mike Sigman
07-19-2006, 06:38 PM
If I understood him correctly, Shinichi Tohei sensei has been saying lately "Learn what the needed feeling is by concentrating on one point, so that you can maintain it without concentrating on one point; otherwise your mind will be busy concentrating all the time and you'll never get anything done." Ultimately, in the case of a partner pushing on you somewhere, you want him to as purely as possible feel the ground. My advice to people beginning their training is to "worry about how purely the partner feels the ground wherever he touches". Don't worry about the dantien, the angle of the foot, the knot of the obi, etc.... only try to make the partner feel the purest (unhindered by any tight joints; shortest path to the ground from the point of contact, through the body) "ground" wherever he touches. There is a saying to "not concentrate on the qi"... it's the same general meaning as what Shinichi Tohei is saying. What would you recommend as exercises for this? I'm not Chris, but I'd recommend "try to always make the partner feel the purest ground at every moment of contact".

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Mark Freeman
07-20-2006, 04:48 AM
I do have some problems with one point as a teaching methodology. If you're in a Ki Society dojo (or an offshoot i.e. Seikikai or Kokikai) you're going to have to learn to love it. I feel that it offers a convenient escape for instructors when they don't know how to explain how to do something, or do it better. "Sensei, I can't make Karl fall down..." "AHA! You're not keepingonepointextendingkikeepingweightunderside! Now try it!" Um, yeah, thanks. I think it also offers a black feather to students, meaning that they get the sense that if they simply believe enough about their one point all their waza will work. If they blow a technique, they weren't concentrating on one point enough. I also feel that the 'exercises' that are used in the Ki Society do little to actually develop the skills that would help the student use the one point. They ammount more to tests, rather than exercises if that makes any sense. I don't think you should test someone to teach it to them.

Hope that helps.

I'd like to respectfully disagree with some of the above.

Testing in ki exercises is a method to help learn the correct mind/body state that allows one to perform aikido. When practiced properly, both the tester and the testee, are looking to deepen their understanding of the mind body connection. All of my skills in aikido ( such as they are) have been built on these ki developement exercises. I know how to use my one point, and this I put down to the teaching through these methods. And while I accept it is possible to practice aikido without these exercises, or even mentioning 'ki'. It by no means means that the ki test are bogus.

Learning to 'test' properly is an art in itself, if someone has had a brief exposure to these test/exercises they are in no position to teach it them someone else. They may have some knowledge but as we know that can be a counterproductive thing.

If teachers hide behind obscure terms, because they can't deliver, then that is a shame, and a bad reflection on them.

If teachers use these terms and they can deliver, then they should be respected for knowing something that others don't, and that if you want to be able to do what they can do, you get on and train the way they teach.

The reason I continue with my teacher is that he can do what he says he can do. If he say's the reason that I'm not getting a technique right is that I'm not extending ki, or that I need to 'drop' my one point or some such, I know exactly what he means, and try to do better in my next attempt.

regards,

Mark

Mary Eastland
07-20-2006, 07:40 AM
Another way to think of "feeling the ground" as Mike says is to be conscious of how your feet feel on the earth. You can experience it so you have become part of the earth...if someone tried to pick you up they would have to pick up the whole world.

Relax into this. Then have someone try to lift you by your bent elbows from behind. Have them lift in a gentle way at first so you can see the difference in feeling for yourself. If you can't fell it at first...it's ok...join the rest of the human race...keep working at it...devoloping correct feeling takes practice....then you get to see if you actually trust the feeling...another huge part of the process....it keeps training really interesting.

Another idea is to take the feeling of consciousness that is around your eyes and let it drop to your center....then have someone gently push on your shoulder...if you are centered you will not move. If you cannot feel your center on the inside yet...put your hand on your abdomen just below your navel.

In Kokikai we spent so much time developing correct feeling.....I am so surprised that everyone does not know this stuff. That is why I never talked about it. I thought every style of Aikido did it...Just goes to show ya I ave a lot to learn.;o).


Mary

ChrisMoses
07-20-2006, 08:45 AM
I'd like to respectfully disagree with some of the above.

And while I accept it is possible to practice aikido without these exercises, or even mentioning 'ki'. It by no means means that the ki test are bogus.

If teachers use these terms and they can deliver, then they should be respected for knowing something that others don't, and that if you want to be able to do what they can do, you get on and train the way they teach.

regards,

Mark

Your perfectly welcome to disagree with me, and being from a Ki Society background you *should* disagree with me. Like I said in my post, if you're in a Tohei influenced dojo, you better love it or learn to love it. Different people learn through different paradigms. I consider the Ki Society's approach to be metaphorical, and that kind of teaching can really hit home with some people. I'm not one of them, I need to know which muscle groups are doing what and what structures are providing base/structure etc... Because that's how I learn and think, I find metaphor less helpful. Granted even in the blood and sinew method of instructing, metaphor comes into play, we need mental images. I find however that metaphor without concrete anatomic structure creates far too much ambiguity. In the sword line I study, a student spends the first few years working almost exclusively on physical structure. Are the feet in the correct position, where is their weight, what is the angle of the back, how much float is in the back heel, is the pelvis at the right level, where is tension being held (shoulders or back)? Only after the gross structure is in place and has become muscle memory does the subtle metaphor stuff come into play. At this point the student has the physical root which will allow them to begin to explore the more esoteric concepts which in turn reenforce the physical. They add depth of understanding rather than new information.

Finally I make a distinction between being a practitioner and a teacher. I've met a lot of shihan who I consider to be terrible teachers. I think in the old koryu model of budo instruction, being a good practitioner made one more qualified to transmit information to subsuquent generations than it does in the more classroom/military style that is the common teaching paradigm in Aikido. Teaching effectively requires a different level of understanding and a different skill set than being adept at the art in question. (Please don't take this last bit personally, it's not meant to attack your teacher, merely to comment on your statement.)

Mark Freeman
07-20-2006, 09:29 AM
Teaching effectively requires a different level of understanding and a different skill set than being adept at the art in question. (Please don't take this last bit personally, it's not meant to attack your teacher, merely to comment on your statement.)

Hi Christian, good post, I don't take any of what is written here personally ( I learnt my lesson fast when I first started posting, I got really upset with someone with very little experience, explaining to me how I should be doing something ;) )

I respect your need for concrete 'muscular' explanations, at least you know what style works for your own learning. My students just have to put up with my way of explaining things, given what I have learnt myself.

I accept that being adept at any skill does not qualify you to 'teach' although it is a good start, and better than teaching with little skill in the art in question.

As for the Ki Society, I don't know what they do as I have not trained in one of their dojos. My own teacher learnt his aikido mainly from Kenshiro Abbe, after Abbe passed away, he studied with Tohei, which is where he learned the teaching model that we now use. After he went independent, he changed some of the wording and terminology, to make it more accessible. Last year he celebrated 50 years in Aikido, so whatever he instructs I listen! :D

If you were to train with him, you wouldn't get the type of explanation you were looking for, but you would certainly get instruction on how to do 'good' aikido ;)

regards,

Mark

tedehara
07-20-2006, 10:24 AM
...The good thing is that the basic principles of the ki and jin/kokyu stuff is the same throughout all the Asian martial arts, for all practical purposes. So your opportunities to gather information are enlarged with so many sources...Each person who writes or talks about ki and jin/kokyu arts has distinct and subtle differences from each other. Even though they may use the same word, e.g. ki, they will attribute different definitions, functions and traits than another person. People like Koichi Tohei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba have different, distinctive understandings of ki, even though both men lived during the same time and associated with each other.

My best suggestion would be to get a foot in the door somehow and *then* start researching all the available training sources, but only those from the best known experts. Anyone can write a book or produce a video.... and they often do. ;)

Best.

MikeIf you study Yoshinkan then read Shioda. If you practice Shodokan then read Tomiki's works. If you train in Aikikai, study the works of the Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba. You will relate quickly and more completely to what you know, then you can branch off into other people's writings. Ask your instructors about their ideas on this subject and who influenced them.

tedehara
07-20-2006, 11:02 AM
If I understood him correctly, Shinichi Tohei sensei has been saying lately "Learn what the needed feeling is by concentrating on one point, so that you can maintain it without concentrating on one point; otherwise your mind will be busy concentrating all the time and you'll never get anything done."

It's a toss-up, for any specific throw, whether the Four Principles-based explanation is going to do me any good. But that seems to be the case for any explanation at all. I've never had a teacher who could always tell me how to fix something. I think it might require magic. Being a verbal learner, I really enjoy Ki Society's attempts to do it, even though they don't always work: "train in silence" approaches don't work for me at all.

My teachers are pretty insistent that "test" is a misnomer. The partner-funekogi that I described works as an exercise for me. I agree that some of them, particularly "unbendable arm", don't particularly.

I worked on the techniques related to the "shoe-tying" test and fell over a lot; it was practicing that doggone test, over and over, with consequent embarrassment, that finally allowed me to do them.

What would you recommend as exercises for this?

Mary Kaye
The four basic principles are four ways to arrive at a state of mind and body coordination. If you have any one principle, you have them all, conversely if you're missing any one principle, you're missing all of them. If you have trouble thinking of "one point" while doing the shoe-tying exercise, then you can also use extend ki, relax completely or weight is underside to help you.

No one can walk around all day thinking "One Point". You'll spend your time walking into trees and cars. What you can do is think "One Point" and acquire that feeling. Then let that feeling run in the background while you attend to your daily activities. If you think of yourself as losing that feeling, then you can remind yourself by saying "One Point". This was what Shinichi Tohei was explaining at the National Ki Conference.

Putting yourself in an awkward physical position and being tested is considered a more advance ki test than simply standing and being tested. It's something you need to practice to get use to. No way around that.

tedehara
07-20-2006, 11:30 AM
...No one can walk around all day thinking "One Point". You'll spend your time walking into trees and cars. What you can do is think "One Point" and acquire that feeling. Then let that feeling run in the background while you attend to your daily activities. If you think of yourself as losing that feeling, then you can remind yourself by saying "One Point". This was what Shinichi Tohei was explaining at the National Ki Conference...To further explain: When you feel yourself becoming nervous or agitated and losing it, you can regain this feeling by saying to yourself, "One Point".

Mike Sigman
07-20-2006, 01:34 PM
Each person who writes or talks about ki and jin/kokyu arts has distinct and subtle differences from each other. Even though they may use the same word, e.g. ki, they will attribute different definitions, functions and traits than another person. People like Koichi Tohei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba have different, distinctive understandings of ki, even though both men lived during the same time and associated with each other. Ted, I think this sort of loose definition will get short shrift in the Asian community. There is only one Ki. The attributes and characteristics of Ki are set. True... different instructors may give different definitions, in some cases, but I guarantee that's because of what the instructor knows and how complete he understands things (or how big a spiel he's trying to sell), not because there are valid "differences" in what Ki/Qi is.

Start somewhere logically and try to "change" the meaning of what Ki is and what it does and watch the pit open... the logical connections mean that someone winging it with his own definition is only going to pratfall.

FWIW

Mike

George S. Ledyard
07-20-2006, 06:53 PM
There is only one Ki. The attributes and characteristics of Ki are set. True... different instructors may give different definitions, in some cases, but I guarantee that's because of what the instructor knows and how complete he understands things (or how big a spiel he's trying to sell), not because there are valid "differences" in what Ki/Qi is.

While not disputing your superiority of experience regarding "things internal" I would like to point out that O-Sensei seemed to believe that there were many manifestations of Ki (although in the ultimate sense they might be One source). He talked about Ki in an energetic sense ie. the ki of Fire, the Ki of Water, etc. He referred to Ki in the sense of mental energy ie. "unify your ki with your opponent" which occurrs before physical contact is made (this use is directly related to the "energy discussion" on another thread). He clearly referred to Ki in the sense of internal energy, as you have pointed out. So it seems to me that it isn't wrong to be looking at the different usages as perhaps being meaningful and not accidental or misleading.

Upyu
07-20-2006, 07:26 PM
Ueshiba was allowed that kind of leeway in his explanations because, well, he could "do" the stuff.
I think Mike's concern is that people who can't "do" tend to use the ambiguous definitions of Ki, and that it tends to have a more negative impact than positive. If more people could "do" then I don't think we'd be having these kind of discussions like we are now, though I understand your point as well George.

Mike Sigman
07-20-2006, 07:39 PM
While not disputing your superiority of experience regarding "things internal" I would suggest that you dispute it, though, although preferably intelligently of course. It makes both of us think. That's the benefit of a discussion forum. ;) I would like to point out that O-Sensei seemed to believe that there were many manifestations of Ki (although in the ultimate sense they might be One source). He talked about Ki in an energetic sense ie. the ki of Fire, the Ki of Water, etc. He referred to Ki in the sense of mental energy ie. "unify your ki with your opponent" which occurrs before physical contact is made (this use is directly related to the "energy discussion" on another thread). He clearly referred to Ki in the sense of internal energy, as you have pointed out. So it seems to me that it isn't wrong to be looking at the different usages as perhaps being meaningful and not accidental or misleading.Well, hold on a sec... I've pointed out in the past that the full-blown old, traditional view of "ki/qi" was wide-spectrum. Essentially, all unexplained forces were relegated to ki/qi, so at the end of the day, there was nothing unexplained because a "universal qi/ki" covered all the bases. But I've made clear that the functional aspects of ki/qi are a limited set of phenomena. True, someone like O-Sensei still employed the ancient quasi-religious/cosmological view of ki/qi and related it to the "gods", but in terms of functional qi/ki, there is only one ki... not a bunch of maybe-acceptable ideas of what things are ki.

In some ways, Tohei sort of sneakily borrows parts of the old ideas and presents them with a fluorish to the New Age wannabelieves, for instance, but he begins to embellish the number of things that *are* ki/qi and that, IMO, is where he goes outside of the acceptable bounds. The vast majority of Asians who understand qi/ki would agree with me, I feel pretty certain. Tohei and some others know quite well that the physical elements are due to physical causes, yet they lean on the marketting aspects of "Universal Ki". So yes, I agree that there is some legitimate stretch, particularly for someone of the old-school like Ueshiba, but functionally the substantive aspects of Ki are carved in stone. You can't make up your own and say they're legitimate because you've seen what appears to be a loose (although it's not) discussion from the old days.

My 2 cents.

Mike

Mike Sigman
07-20-2006, 08:08 PM
Maybe I should have added, George, that I'll be glad to discuss the full-blown number of things that are included as ki/qi in the traditional paradigm... the point being that even those are set items and people can't just arbitrarily make up their own. The only person they could fool would be westerners, etc., who are not familiar with the cosomology and its parameters. Good discussion and good points.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

George S. Ledyard
07-20-2006, 08:26 PM
Maybe I should have added, George, that I'll be glad to discuss the full-blown number of things that are included as ki/qi in the traditional paradigm... the point being that even those are set items and people can't just arbitrarily make up their own. The only person they could fool would be westerners, etc., who are not familiar with the cosomology and its parameters. Good discussion and good points.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Certainly, the entire Asian spiritual viewpoint whether Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, or Japanese, is that at the heart of things, all is one. That understanding generally only comes with the kind of mystical spiritual experience one might have from some sort of lengthy practice. It is usually referred to as an "Enlightenment" experience. So at that level, there are no distinctions. It's ALL One.

But with five elements theory all the way to the I-Ching to the Kototama, you have people looking at the particulate that makes up the whole. Ki is simultaneously unitary and has various manifestations. You hear discussion about the different "densities" of Ki or Ch'i. You hear discussion about the Ki of different elements, etc. Yes, water, vapor and ice are all just water but functionally these "aspects" of water are important.

From the Cosmic standpoint, it is true that there is only one Ki and in that sense it is ALL Ki or Consciousness or whatever. From the standpoint of our training, I think it can be illuminating to look at exactly what the "old guys" meant when they talked about the varying manifestations of Ki.

Mike Sigman
07-20-2006, 09:07 PM
Certainly, the entire Asian spiritual viewpoint whether Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, or Japanese, is that at the heart of things, all is one. That understanding generally only comes with the kind of mystical spiritual experience one might have from some sort of lengthy practice. It is usually referred to as an "Enlightenment" experience. So at that level, there are no distinctions. It's ALL One.

But with five elements theory all the way to the I-Ching to the Kototama, you have people looking at the particulate that makes up the whole. Ki is simultaneously unitary and has various manifestations. You hear discussion about the different "densities" of Ki or Ch'i. You hear discussion about the Ki of different elements, etc. Yes, water, vapor and ice are all just water but functionally these "aspects" of water are important.

From the Cosmic standpoint, it is true that there is only one Ki and in that sense it is ALL Ki or Consciousness or whatever. From the standpoint of our training, I think it can be illuminating to look at exactly what the "old guys" meant when they talked about the varying manifestations of Ki.I dunno exactly what you're trying to say. Let me try to say it simply: there was an old belief where "qi/ki" was used as an explanation for everything. It didn't pan out as an explanation and is now more or less dead. There were some body skills, etc., that were there during the ki/qi days and now that it's gone they're still there... they're not subject to loose intrepretation, as in "anything can be ki". If you want to discuss what was in the full-blown old cosmology, it would be an interesthing, albeit rhetorical discussion. If you want to stick to the "ki/qi" things that are still there regardless of whether it's a ki-paradigm or a western-science paradigm, it's a discussion that cannot be approached from a "here's my opinion on it" perspective. Not really. Only someone who doesn't have a grasp of the topic would attempt to do that.

Even your discussion about "intention" still falls into the physical parameters of how the trained-skill strength is formed, even though you yourself may be thinking of "intention" in a different sense than was originally meant. All I'm saying is that this idea that it's OK to arbitrarily set one's own definitions for what "ki" is not true. The parameters of what Ki is are set, both in terms of functional body skills and in terms of what the traditional beliefs were. Anything else tends to only show a lack of familiarity with the full cosmology. Tohei actually uses the physical skills quite clearly (and indicates at times that he knows full well what they are with out the vagaries he so often uses), but at the same time he has developed a rather singular caricature based on the old traditions. As I indicated, I wouldn't want to go to anyone with real expertise and try to sell Tohei's personal version. And I don't think Tohei would try to sell it either... he's as aware as anyone else that there are defined limits to what Ki is and that he's sort of winging it on some things. At best, your argument, as I see it, tries to point at some of the vagaries of the full-blown and complex traditional beliefs and say that they represent "differences". Not really. I think you're just nosing around on the surface of a complex topic. Not that it wouldn't make an interesting discussion, but it doesn't support the idea of "valid differences", as far as I can see.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

dps
07-20-2006, 09:26 PM
There is only one Ki. The attributes and characteristics of Ki are set. What are they?

mathewjgano
07-20-2006, 09:53 PM
there was an old belief where "qi/ki" was used as an explanation for everything. It didn't pan out as an explanation and is now more or less dead.

As an aside: isn't ki described as energy in its most generalized sense? Isn't any event able to be mathematically termed in the context of energy? ...be it kinetic or potential?
Or, perhaps a better question would be: what's an example where energy cannot be used to explain something?
Take care,
Matt

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-20-2006, 10:32 PM
As an aside: isn't ki described as energy in its most generalized sense? Isn't any event able to be mathematically termed in the context of energy? ...be it kinetic or potential?
Or, perhaps a better question would be: what's an example where energy cannot be used to explain something?
Take care,
Matt
When it's too abstract to be useful practically? When the manipulation of the energy is important (after the fact that energy exists). When energy is only an abstract term in the mind and not one realized in the union of mind and body (admittedly, such division too is considered a false theory to begin with from a unified perspective).

mathewjgano
07-21-2006, 12:19 AM
When it's too abstract to be useful practically? When the manipulation of the energy is important (after the fact that energy exists). When energy is only an abstract term in the mind and not one realized in the union of mind and body (admittedly, such division too is considered a false theory to begin with from a unified perspective).
Can't an abstract concept still be tied to a sensation in a meaningful way? Extending your ki down to the center of the Earth, for example, can still hold meaning and usefulness...it just seems that no matter how you term it, there's still a need for the student to aquire understanding of how the terminology applies visceraly. I'm probably misunderstanding, but it seems to me no words will ever be quite as useful as feeling the various phenomina typically attributed to "ki."
Maybe if someone could give me an example of both the ki/abstract description and the more logical equivalent, I would understand better.
Take care,
Matt

clwk
07-21-2006, 01:01 AM
George,
Certainly, the entire Asian spiritual viewpoint whether Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, or Japanese, is that at the heart of things, all is one. That understanding generally only comes with the kind of mystical spiritual experience one might have from some sort of lengthy practice. It is usually referred to as an "Enlightenment" experience. So at that level, there are no distinctions. It's ALL One.
That's a statement which (falsely) assumes its own truth if I've ever heard one. I realize it's a great joke, but the Zen hot-dog vendor who makes you 'one with everything' is a caricature. I doubt you really want to talk about this, and this is probably not the forum for it. Nevertheless, your statement is egregiously inaccurate.

The view that 'all is one' *is* characteristic of a certain strand of Indian religious thought: ie, Hinduism. I realize that referring to 'Hinduism' is itself a caricature, but doing so is a philosophical stance taken by Buddhism in order to differentiate itself from such a position. This stance is itself evidence that your statement is inaccurate. The Sanskrit word 'Tirthika' (Heretic) is applied to those who adhere to the four philosophical extremes from which the non-dual view is distinguished. I'm sure you know this though.

Interestingly, the philosophical extreme (rejected by Buddhism, certainly by the strands of 'Tibetan . . . spiritual viewpoint' which emphasize non-duality, i.e. orthodox Buddhist view) of Monism is explicitly claimed by Ida Rolf for her 'Structural Integration'. It's worth considering that while there is a bounded set of physical phenomena associated with the ki/kokyu paradigm - it is a mistake to lump together every philosophical/religious/spiritual tradition which addresses aspects of these phenomena. A large part of the problem in Newage quarters of 'the West' (whatever that is) is the desire to assume that everything is 'all one'. That is a totally different approach than recognizing that there is a finite, delimited set of interconnected phenomena which represent the 'ki/kokyu' skills under discussion. It is the kind of thinking which leads to the Newage idea that anyone who has grabbed a piece of the puzzle *must* be talking about the same thing. This whole bizarre concept that there are 'many paths up the mountain' (which implicitly suggests that any arbitrary path will lead to the same place as any other path) seems to be a big part of the reason the real skills in question have been buried (unless, of course you believe they are more widespread than I do).

Knowing that the skills in question cross national/religious/stylistic boundaries is incredibly valuable - because it allows you to synthesize information and intelligently analyze training methods, etcetera. Imagining that there is an 'Asian spiritual viewpoint' is just silly and confusing. If that were true, then we would all be in trouble - because it is evidently impossible to square Omoto Kyo's 'viewpoint' with anything else, Eastern, Western, or otherwise - unless that anything else is the (limited) belief that 'all is one'. Fortunately, and this is the important point, it *is* possible to recognize in Ueshiba's language that (whatever else he had to say), his martial movement was intimately connected to the common ki/kokyu-qi/jin paradigm under discussion.

Make sense?

-ck

clwk
07-21-2006, 01:05 AM
Matt,
Or, perhaps a better question would be: what's an example where energy cannot be used to explain something?

I assume you don't mean this question the way you phrased it, but - for purposes of discussion: the guideline that sentences not be ended with prepositions cannot reasonably be traced to 'energy' in any usual use of the word.

Chhi'mŤd

dps
07-21-2006, 01:43 AM
Can't an abstract concept still be tied to a sensation in a meaningful way? Yes, as long as the person understands it as an unrealistic way of explaining a realistic physical experience. Abstract explanations require a person to use his/hers imagination as in your example of extending your Ki to the center of the earth .If you had a realistic definition of Ki this explanation would have meaning to you. You would get better results if your abstract explanation contained examples with realistic meaning, for example; image there is a rubber band attached to your obi knot and is anchored to the center of the earth or tie a rope around your waist and put a heavy weight on the other end of the rope and gravity will pull the rope to the center of the earth. We all understand what the effects of a stretched rubber band or gravity would have.
Otherwise you are asking for a leap of faith. [/QUOTE]

Robert Rumpf
07-21-2006, 06:58 AM
Ted, I think this sort of loose definition will get short shrift in the Asian community. There is only one Ki.

The vast majority of Asians who understand qi/ki would agree with me, I feel pretty certain.

Anything else tends to only show a lack of familiarity with the full cosmology.

functionally the substantive aspects of Ki are carved in stone.

What I get from all of this is that there are a whole set of widely endorsed and generally accepted ideas in the "Asian" community about what this stuff means and does... and that the Aikido community is poorer for not speaking this language and moreso for not understanding the concepts. I see it in your posts, but I'd like to see it elsewhere.

I find it extremely hard to belief that there is no reference book, be it on yoga or whatever that lays out these ideas in a lucid way. If that is the case, than there is one hell of a publishing market to be tapped.

So how does one acquire familiarity with the "full cosmology" type of ki-related of beliefs, be they proven or disproven, in favor or out of favor? What do you recommend? I've read Gleason's "Spiritual Foundations of Aikido," which was a lot to digest, but I probably should reread it now that I have greater familiarity.

Can you give us information on where this consensus can be found in the rest of the Asian community, so that we can become familiar with it, and (given what is already available in the Aikido community) see how it contrasts with what Tohei has to say?

So far, I can list the following people whom you think are knowledgeable..
Ueshiba Sensei
Tohei Sensei
Abe Sensei
Inaba Sensei
Gernot Hassenpflug

Is there anyone else you can bring to bear from the outside-Aikido community?

Thanks,
Rob

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 07:03 AM
I didn't say my thought very clearly, so let me try it again.

There is no such thing as Ki/Qi. Regardless of that, there are indeed these skills/body-abilities, so we can still talk about them, whether we're using western terms like "ground path", fascia, etc., or to clarify that we're talking about the skills referred to traditionally, we can sparingly use the terms ki, qi, jin, kokyu, etc.

So we can knowledgeably and rightfully talk about the ki/kokyu skills, because they can be shown to exist (IF someone knows how to do them), but all the other "things that are Ki", like the "Ki of Heaven", etc., from the old beliefs won't fly as "valid descriptions of Ki".... because they don't exist in reality. Although it would be quite valid as a discussion if someone wants to show what the "Ki of Heaven" really referred to (I think I can show this, incidentally, except it would be impossible to do it meaningfully in print, so I won't even try).

By describing Kokyu, Ki breathing techniques, etc., we're actually explaining (or attempting to explain) how some body mechanics work using western-science terms (note that I carefully did not say we're using western science; no science has been done on these things). I'm very careful to say or assert nothing that can't be demonstrated and replicated.

George's comment, as I understood it, was that other assertions about Ki in different ways were valid descriptions of Ki, but to say that, he has to give some credence to the whole Ki paradigm. Except Ki doesn't exist and at least one of his comments about "ki" and "intention" is actually somewhat off the idea of how "intent" is actually used in relation to kokyu/force.

I.e., we can't say "Ki doesn't really exist" and then at the same time slip in other examples of Ki and claim they're valid without clarifying whether they ARE valid or whether they ONCE WERE considered valid. If someone thinks a Ki-paradigm term is valid, they should explain why it is in western terminology. Heck, just because it turned out that Ki doesn't exist as the "Grand Explainer of Unknown Forces" doesn't mean that the things it was used to explain don't exist. Could make for some interesting conversation.

Regards along with my 2 cents,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 07:44 AM
What I get from all of this is that there are a whole set of widely endorsed and generally accepted ideas in the "Asian" community about what this stuff means and does... and that the Aikido community is poorer for not speaking this language and moreso for not understanding the concepts. I see it in your posts, but I'd like to see it elsewhere.

I find it extremely hard to belief that there is no reference book, be it on yoga or whatever that lays out these ideas in a lucid way. If that is the case, than there is one hell of a publishing market to be tapped.

So how does one acquire familiarity with the "full cosmology" type of ki-related of beliefs, be they proven or disproven, in favor or out of favor? What do you recommend? I've read Gleason's "Spiritual Foundations of Aikido," which was a lot to digest, but I probably should reread it now that I have greater familiarity.

Can you give us information on where this consensus can be found in the rest of the Asian community, so that we can become familiar with it, and (given what is already available in the Aikido community) see how it contrasts with what Tohei has to say? Well, Tohei's descriptions of Universal Ki, etc., tend to focus, in my opinion, on the mystical, but rather than dwell on that maybe it's quicker to lay out a few rapid comments related to my earlier simplification of 3 general area in a previous post:

"Ultimately, there is (1.) the mental manipulation and strengthening of forces and some usually-autonomic areas of the body's fascia-related structures, (2.) the strengthening all over of the fascia-related structures, and (3.) a type of "feeling" or even a real set of electro-magnetic phenomena related to the fascia-related structures. This set of 3 main features are the holistic makeup of the body's "ki". Everything described as "ki" is going to be some combination of those factors. "

You can research the rough 3 areas I laid out pretty easily, in order to see how widespread they are in Asia. Just for starters, the essence of Kokyu force is the same as jin in China and is the same as shakti in India. Ki is Qi is Prana. That begins to give you an idea of how widespread the foundational stuff is and why someone can't just make up things without relegating themselves as an oddity.

The idea of "energy flows" through the body and using "chakras" is common throughout Asia. The ultimate goal of all "meditation" is to literally move the sexual essence up through the spinal column to the head. All throughout Asia. The acupuncture theory relates to the systematic study of these flows and how they work in relation to strength and health. Manipulating the body in certain postures improves the ability to use strength and therefore it becomes part of the "energy flows" idea and you have people holding certain postures to enhance energy. Think of sitting and standing in certain postures. Holding the fingers in certain ways like Indian gods and Buddha do. Even O-Sensei believed in the ancient ideas of holding things in certain ways for "energy flows":
http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm

Look at the small picture of him sitting and using "Lin", from the ancient Chinese Jiuzi Miling (Nine Esoteric Seals)... same set of seals that westerners remember the "Ninja" used.

The strengthening of the fascia-related structures is done through breathing tensions and pressures and stretches. It's in yoga, qigongs, Chinese martial arts, Indonesian m.a.'s, Indian m.a.'s, etc. It's the reason Ueshiba was shown with a large, developed stomach in the picture he had painted of him. Same reason for the big belly of Buddha. These things, along with the subconscious mind, can make the body strong and tough to cut, etc. It's the reason you see Asian festivals where people hang themselves from hooks, etc.... to show how their "qi" works, particularly when they are under a religious trance. But it's part of "iron shirt" trainings, etc., and it's even found in Japanese Koryu. See this:

http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK1.JPG

Anyway, without belaboring this too much, all these things are very ancient (or they could not have become so widespread in so many cultures) and the foundations of the Ki paradigm are pretty well set. You can't make a suitable New Age religion that is somewhat a derivative of the old Qi beliefs without deliberately changing things. That's where I tend to call foul. Besides, since Ki itself does not exist (all those Asians have dropped it from their education and scientific systems, so that's a big clue), worry about the realities of Ki and legitimate definitions of what IS in it is a waste of time. What WAS in it legitimately would make a good discussion sometime, though.

Hope that gave you an idea of the size and age of this thing. The consensus is in the commonality.

Regards,

Mike

Robert Rumpf
07-21-2006, 07:51 AM
There is no such thing as Ki/Qi.

Ok.. so by talking about Ki/Qi using the old terms, we are throwing good money after bad?

You're recommending talking about the body skills, and how to do those, and learning from an appropriate instructor, but that we should divorce ourselves completely from the only extant terminology describing them, without a new terminology existing.

Is that a good idea? Isn't that likely to make the people who have those skills and who have invested themselves in this area (and who are presumably attached to the terminology) unhappy (and therefore less likely to share information)? In addition, doesn't that cut one off from their experiences?

Its like reading poetry in a different language. How can we be sure that we aren't missing something?

Or am I just misinterpreting..
Rob

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 08:12 AM
Ok.. so by talking about Ki/Qi using the old terms, we are throwing good money after bad?

You're recommending talking about the body skills, and how to do those, and learning from an appropriate instructor, but that we should divorce ourselves completely from the only extant terminology describing them, without a new terminology existing.

Is that a good idea? Isn't that likely to make the people who have those skills and who have invested themselves in this area (and who are presumably attached to the terminology) unhappy (and therefore less likely to share information)? In addition, doesn't that cut one off from their experiences?

Its like reading poetry in a different language. How can we be sure that we aren't missing something?

Or am I just misinterpreting.. I don't see any way to talk about these things without using terminology from the old days but explanations from the western-science terminology. It's just the way things are. If someone wants to say "Ki is a Universal Force", they're of course welcome to say it, but they need to be able to back it up... using western science explanations. I.e., free-floating assertions won't work. If someone wants to say "Ki is intention", they need to be (1.) able to demonstrate it and (2.) able to explain how that works so that it fits into the known parameters of the full-blown Ki paradigm. The problem is that it doesn't fit into the Ki paradigm at all and all they've done is feed hogwash to some ignorant neophytes, in most cases.

;)

Mike

Ron Tisdale
07-21-2006, 08:32 AM
If someone wants to say "Ki is intention", they need to be (1.) able to demonstrate it and (2.) able to explain how that works so that it fits into the known parameters of the full-blown Ki paradigm. The problem is that it doesn't fit into the Ki paradigm at all and all they've done is feed hogwash to some ignorant neophytes, in most cases.

The thing is, I know there are skilled japanese practitioners who *do* say that. I am in no position myself to defend or deny that position. But I do know that they do say that as a *portion* of their "take" on the paradigm.

Best,
Ron

ChrisMoses
07-21-2006, 08:47 AM
What would you recommend as exercises for this?

Mary Kaye

I didn't answer your question earlier, partly because it's difficult to recommend exercises to someone working in a different system. We tend to keep things pretty close to the chest. Face to face I'll tell just about anyone everything I know (or I'll tell them to get lost).

Here's what I can offer over the internet based on what (I think) I understand now. I believe these are the skills that "Keeping One Point" attempts to indirectly teach.

-Learn to control which muscle groups provide the majority of your breath control. In general terms you can breath 'from' your chest (intercostals) or your belly (diaphragm). There isn't a concrete correct way to breathe, diaphragm breathing is more efficient and mentally settling, however when you're transmitting or receiving force, often these muscles need to be flexed to stabilize your core, so can you move to your intercostals and keep your trapezius out of it?

-Practice being balanced. A good PT exercise for leg/ankle injuries that works well here is to stand on one leg, slightly bent. Now drop a pencil. Pick up the pencil without dabbing (putting your other foot down). Repeat for a really long time, dropping the pencil all around you. Then do the same thing with a light medicine ball or ankle weight. If you find the 'keep one point' thing works for you, make sure to keep one point and weight underside while you do this one.

-Do a lot of crunches and leg lifts. Your core muscles are all that connect your base to your intention. If they aren't up to the task, that force will go through your lower back muscles and you'll eventually injure them. Back arch is good for Victoria Secret models, not martial artists. Anyone who really wants to know where their one point is should do crunches until they can't anymore, the next morning when you get out of bed you will know exactly where it is. ;)

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 08:49 AM
But I do know that they do say that as a *portion* of their "take" on the paradigm. Hi Ron.... I think a lot of the confusion comes in the translations. "Intention" *can* be part of what leads the Ki, but it is not the Ki... however, someone not competent in the subtleties of English may not make that clear, so some westerner trying to sound knowledgeable about something he doesn't understand can parrot this, thus adding to the confusion. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Ron Tisdale
07-21-2006, 08:51 AM
Thank you...that makes perfect sense! I appreciate the explanation.

Best,
Ron

tedehara
07-21-2006, 11:07 AM
Ted, I think this sort of loose definition will get short shrift in the Asian community. There is only one Ki. The attributes and characteristics of Ki are set. True... different instructors may give different definitions, in some cases, but I guarantee that's because of what the instructor knows and how complete he understands things (or how big a spiel he's trying to sell), not because there are valid "differences" in what Ki/Qi is.

Start somewhere logically and try to "change" the meaning of what Ki is and what it does and watch the pit open... the logical connections mean that someone winging it with his own definition is only going to pratfall.

FWIW

Mike
There maybe only one Ki, but there are many people who have been discussing it all over Asia for thousands of years. That in itself, leads to a variety of interpretations. Personally I find it better to take things case-by-case, rather than try to lump everything into a ki/kokyu/jin/qi/prana phenomena. The more I read, the more skeptical I am in assuming that people are all talking about the same thing, even though they may be using the same word or equivalent.

Kalaripayit is different than Wu Shu which is different than Aikido, yet they all appear to share the same tradition. The theories behind each martial art is as wide and varied as the people who practice them. To deny that diversity in order to quickly arrive at some generalize understanding shows a lack of critical thinking.

This case-by-case approach becomes important especially if you look at Koichi Tohei. I mentioned in another thread that I thought he was non-traditional. His concepts did not seem to me, to fall within the boundaries of traditional Japanese definitions. He based his concepts not only by what he was taught by Morihei Ueshiba, but also Tetsuju Ogura of Ichikukai Dojo and Tenpu Nakamura of Tenpukai. Added to this was his experience and understanding.

Normally experience in this area is only personal, however K. Tohei actively researched what he was doing with his top people. It would be their combined efforts that would slowly change the way things were done so that he would eventually re-evaluate his own basic principles and concepts. Many of these changes were communicated from instructor to instructor within the Ki Society. Other changes were published by K. Tohei, although several of his recent books are only available in Japanese.

If you're interested in where this type of research is leading, go to Hawaii Ki Aikido (http://www.hawaiikiaikido.org/flash.html) and look at the archives with articles by Curtis Sensei. Because of Suzuki Sensei, the Maui Ki Society has been especially involved in breathing exercises and ki development. Because they're in Hawaii, they've had close contact to Ki Society Hq. over the years, yet still write in English.

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 11:29 AM
There maybe only one Ki, but there are many people who have been discussing it all over Asia for thousands of years. That in itself, leads to a variety of interpretations. Not really. Lots of different discussions lead a lot of westerners to feel like there are a number of things that are Ki, but that's not true, Ted. Kalaripayit is different than Wu Shu which is different than Aikido, yet they all appear to share the same tradition. The theories behind each martial art is as wide and varied as the people who practice them. To deny that diversity in order to quickly arrive at some generalize understanding shows a lack of critical thinking. I don't deny the diversity in the various usages and approaches to Ki in various martial arts, qigongs, medical treatments, what-have-you. What I'm saying is that the core concept is immutable and fixed, despite various in presentation, levels of skill, approaches to development, etc. If it was truly different things, the core wouldn't be at the heart of such a broad spectrum of Asian arts, Ted. This case-by-case approach becomes important especially if you look at Koichi Tohei. I mentioned in another thread that I thought he was non-traditional. His concepts did not seem to me, to fall within the boundaries of traditional Japanese definitions. He based his concepts not only by what he was taught by Morihei Ueshiba, but also Tetsuju Ogura of Ichikukai Dojo and Tenpu Nakamura of Tenpukai. Added to this was his experience and understanding.
None of that changes the core of the "Ki" that he demonstrates and talks about, Ted. There are guys in southern China that mix up all kinds of magical nonsense into discussions and rationales for the "qi" and "Empty Force" stuff in a quasi-religious and 'different' presentation they make to the public... but at core they are basing their schtick around some immutable principles. Heck, some of them even "start fires" with their qi or do lots of other bogus tricks for qi demonstrations (this is where Ki/qi gets a bad name, BTW), but at heart they're taking advantage of some principles that are the same throughout all the Asian arts. Is that clearer? ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

tedehara
07-22-2006, 07:51 PM
Well, Tohei's descriptions of Universal Ki, etc., tend to focus, in my opinion, on the mystical, but rather than dwell on that maybe it's quicker to lay out a few rapid comments related to my earlier simplification of 3 general area in a previous post:

"Ultimately, there is (1.) the mental manipulation and strengthening of forces and some usually-autonomic areas of the body's fascia-related structures, (2.) the strengthening all over of the fascia-related structures, and (3.) a type of "feeling" or even a real set of electro-magnetic phenomena related to the fascia-related structures. This set of 3 main features are the holistic makeup of the body's "ki". Everything described as "ki" is going to be some combination of those factors. "There is nothing in traditional texts that talk about fascia-related structures. This indicates to me that this is a modern western concept trying to retain the physical model for Ki. There has yet to be anything that relates any meridians or Ki flow to points in the fascia structure.

You can research the rough 3 areas I laid out pretty easily, in order to see how widespread they are in Asia. Just for starters, the essence of Kokyu force is the same as jin in China and is the same as shakti in India. Ki is Qi is Prana. That begins to give you an idea of how widespread the foundational stuff is and why someone can't just make up things without relegating themselves as an oddity.People make-up things all the time. They don't present their definitions as "oddities" but as the "true" or "pure" idea of Ki or Qi or Prana. When they do that, you have to be aware they are presenting something different than the norm.

The idea of "energy flows" through the body and using "chakras" is common throughout Asia. The ideas of Plato and Aristotle have been around western philosophy for a long time, but that doesn't make every western philosopher a Platonist or Aristotelian. Just because energy flow and chakras have been concepts in Asia, doesn't mean everyone agrees with them or views them in the same manner.

The ultimate goal of all "meditation" is to literally move the sexual essence up through the spinal column to the head. Tell that to a Zen monk. I'm sure he will be surprised.

All throughout Asia. The acupuncture theory relates to the systematic study of these flows and how they work in relation to strength and health. Manipulating the body in certain postures improves the ability to use strength and therefore it becomes part of the "energy flows" idea and you have people holding certain postures to enhance energy. Think of sitting and standing in certain postures. Holding the fingers in certain ways like Indian gods and Buddha do. Even O-Sensei believed in the ancient ideas of holding things in certain ways for "energy flows":
http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm

Look at the small picture of him sitting and using "Lin", from the ancient Chinese Jiuzi Miling (Nine Esoteric Seals)... same set of seals that westerners remember the "Ninja" used.

The strengthening of the fascia-related structures is done through breathing tensions and pressures and stretches. It's in yoga, qigongs, Chinese martial arts, Indonesian m.a.'s, Indian m.a.'s, etc. It's the reason Ueshiba was shown with a large, developed stomach in the picture he had painted of him. Same reason for the big belly of Buddha. These things, along with the subconscious mind, can make the body strong and tough to cut, etc. It's the reason you see Asian festivals where people hang themselves from hooks, etc.... to show how their "qi" works, particularly when they are under a religious trance. But it's part of "iron shirt" trainings, etc., and it's even found in Japanese Koryu. See this:

http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK1.JPG

Anyway, without belaboring this too much, all these things are very ancient (or they could not have become so widespread in so many cultures) and the foundations of the Ki paradigm are pretty well set. You can't make a suitable New Age religion that is somewhat a derivative of the old Qi beliefs without deliberately changing things. That's where I tend to call foul. Besides, since Ki itself does not exist (all those Asians have dropped it from their education and scientific systems, so that's a big clue), worry about the realities of Ki and legitimate definitions of what IS in it is a waste of time. What WAS in it legitimately would make a good discussion sometime, though.

Hope that gave you an idea of the size and age of this thing. The consensus is in the commonality.

Regards,

MikeThis appears to be the point where I declare we should agree to disagree. Your explanation failed to convince me of a core concept that is set within a consensus of the Asian community. I believe this material should be looked at with a very critical eye, in order to gain anything of real value from it. I think you're drawing conclusions from some situations where no conclusions can yet be drawn.

Mike Sigman
07-23-2006, 01:53 PM
There is nothing in traditional texts that talk about fascia-related structures. This indicates to me that this is a modern western concept trying to retain the physical model for Ki. There has yet to be anything that relates any meridians or Ki flow to points in the fascia structure. The connective tissue, "silk" (many qigongs refer to connective tissue as "silk"), many available writings, including the oldest directly explicative writings on qigongs, etc., refer to the fascia ("connective tissue", "sinews", etc.), Ted. I can only assume that you have never bothered to do even superficial research into what qi/ki is, if you don't know that. (about "sexual essence up the spinal cord to the head") Tell that to a Zen monk. I'm sure he will be surprised. I don't think he'll be the least bit surprised, Ted. What's surprising is that you don't know this. Have you ever done any reading, research, etc., on what meditation, "enlightenment", etc., really contain in the traditional sense? This appears to be the point where I declare we should agree to disagree. Your explanation failed to convince me of a core concept that is set within a consensus of the Asian community. I believe this material should be looked at with a very critical eye, in order to gain anything of real value from it. I think you're drawing conclusions from some situations where no conclusions can yet be drawn. I can appreciate that you have an opinion to share, Ted, but I think your knowledge of ki/qi is pretty much limited to what you've learned from the Tohei sect.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

dps
07-23-2006, 06:16 PM
"Those who know, do not say; those who say, do not know." Lao-tse

Mike Sigman
07-23-2006, 06:38 PM
"Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully.
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever."
"And he has Brain."
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain."
There was a long silence.
"I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything."

A.A. Milne

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-23-2006, 07:28 PM
"Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully.
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever."
"And he has Brain."
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain."
There was a long silence.
"I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything."

A.A. Milne

Mike, my girlfriend tells me this all the time (my nickname being "rabbit"... and no, not for THAT reason)!

She is "azn", and understands everyday uses of Ki. She also studies Western opera singing, and knows how to lift her diaphragm and stretch her spine while pulling downwards at the same time along another path to avoid going "up" during high notes. She also got a great benefit from my poor teaching of some of Ark's extention/compression exercises. She just did them, seeing how they related to what she does, without analysis and theory taking the place of practice. Tell me I'm biased, but I say, "smart girl". :D

dps
07-23-2006, 07:48 PM
She just did them, seeing how they related to what she does, without analysis and theory taking the place of practice. Tell me I'm biased, but I say, "smart girl". :D
"The way to use life is to do nothing through acting,
The way to use life is to do everything through being." Lao Tszu

" Owl instead, is the opposite of Pooh, the Knowledge for the sake of Appearing Wise, the one who studies Knowledge for the sake of Knowledge, and who keeps what he learns to himself or to his own small group, rather than working for the enlightenment of others. That way, the scholars can appear Superior, and will not likely be suspected of Not Knowing Something. After all, from the scholarly point of view, it's practically a crime not to know everything. But sometimes the knowledge of the scholar is a bit hard to understand because it doesn't seem to match up with our own experience of things. Isn't the knowledge that comes from experience."
The Tao of Pooh

dps
07-23-2006, 08:05 PM
"Isn't the knowledge that comes from experience more valuable than the knowledge that doesn't?"
The Tao of Pooh

Ian Thake
07-24-2006, 06:13 AM
There has yet to be anything that relates any meridians or Ki flow to points in the fascia structure."Relationship of Acupuncture Points And Meridians to Connective Tissue Planes" (http://http://www.med.uvm.edu/neurology/downloads/Relationshipofacupuncturepointsandmeridianstoconnectivetissueplanes.pdf)
The Anatomical Record 269:257-265, 2002

Ian Thake
07-24-2006, 07:17 AM
"Relationship of Acupuncture Points And Meridians to Connective Tissue Planes" (http://www.med.uvm.edu/neurology/downloads/Relationshipofacupuncturepointsandmeridianstoconnectivetissueplanes.pdf)
The Anatomical Record 269:257-265, 2002

(Link fixed).

Mike Sigman
07-24-2006, 11:04 AM
"The way to use life is to do nothing through acting,
The way to use life is to do everything through being." Lao Tszu
David, just for your information.... the very existence of a "Lao Tzu" ("Lao Tse", etc., etc.) is questionable. The books containing statements *attributed* to Lao Tzu are of questionable sources and the translations vary from person to person because the original statements are so vague. In other words, the English translation of the original statements you're dropping are far from the concise things you're presenting. Of course, no doubt you're aware of this hole in the "pithiness" of Lao Tzu attributions that some people like to use. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

dps
07-24-2006, 11:14 AM
David, just for your information.... the very existence of a "Lao Tzu" ("Lao Tse", etc., etc.) is questionable. And what of Pooh?

Mike Sigman
07-24-2006, 11:20 AM
And what of Pooh?
Oh, pooh.

Adman
07-24-2006, 11:35 AM
Mike,

Concerning the fascia (of which I'm just now becoming familiar with -- interesting stuff!)...

Would it be fair to assume that Tohei's insistance of not putting tension in the one-point and the principle of "relax completely," are just tools to force one to stop using the conventional muscles and to start learning how to use the ignored ones (the' stabalizers' or fascia)? I mean if one is truly relaxed completely and has one-point, then how does one truly move or even stand? Perhaps he was trying to get to the root of the most beginning, basic steps in the simplest way he could?

Lately, this has become my primary focus. That is, standing or moving without any perceptible use of the usual suspects (muscles). Of course, I look a little odd, since I'm moving so slow. ;) This latest discussion concerning fascia has sort of kicked me in the brain and its relationship with my current training. My breathing practice has also become more interesting.

thanks,
Adam

P.S.: Pardon me, if the preceding message was awkward. I've never been a great communicator.

Larry Cuvin
07-24-2006, 01:57 PM
Adam,
From what I was taught, when you are standing with correct posture, one point is a place in your lower abdomen where you cannot put any tension. Keeping one point is just one way of achieving mind and body coordination which is the main goal. So when you walk, run, bend to pick something up, do it in your most natural way. When you correct posture, relaxed and doing it with natural rhythm, mind and body coordination should naturally happen. My 2 cents.

Plus Ki,
Larry

tedehara
07-24-2006, 02:06 PM
"Relationship of Acupuncture Points And Meridians to Connective Tissue Planes" (http://http://www.med.uvm.edu/neurology/downloads/Relationshipofacupuncturepointsandmeridianstoconnectivetissueplanes.pdf)
The Anatomical Record 269:257-265, 2002Despite considerable efforts to understand the anatomy and physiology of acupuncture points and meridians, the definition and characterization of the structures remain elusive. from the first page of above mentioned article.

If anything, this article shows how much is not known. You should really read it, instead of assuming it supports some viewpoint.

When major operations are done in Red China using acupuncture and Mao's Little Red Book of Quotes in place of anesthesia, it is only the unfaithful who feel the pain of surgery. Patients would get off the operating table and walk back to their beds waving their Little Red Books. The power of belief is powerful. It's like the mind leads the body.

tedehara
07-24-2006, 02:32 PM
T... Have you ever done any reading, research, etc., on what meditation, "enlightenment", etc., really contain in the traditional sense? I can appreciate that you have an opinion to share, Ted, but I think your knowledge of ki/qi is pretty much limited to what you've learned from the Tohei sect.

Regards,

Mike SigmanI don't believe a Zen monk (Japanese) meditating for enlightenment is actually moving his sexual essence (Chinese) up his spinal cord to his head, like a Kundalini serpent (Indian). Can you mix-up any more metaphors?
;)

Adman
07-24-2006, 02:56 PM
Adam,
From what I was taught, when you are standing with correct posture, one point is a place in your lower abdomen where you cannot put any tension. Keeping one point is just one way of achieving mind and body coordination which is the main goal. So when you walk, run, bend to pick something up, do it in your most natural way. When you correct posture, relaxed and doing it with natural rhythm, mind and body coordination should naturally happen. My 2 cents.

Plus Ki,
LarryHi Larry,

Yep, everything you've said is what I've been told and have been practicing for the last 13 years. 'Natural' and 'correct' being the key words. However, doing something that is supposed to be "natural," after a lifetime of life getting in the way, is easier said than done. I am supposed to have some measure of success at this, after all this time, but I know I'm no where near where I should be. Hence, my recent (self) discoveries and interest in following threads such as this one.

thanks,
Adam

Larry Cuvin
07-24-2006, 05:33 PM
Adam,
You are absolutely right, moving natural with mind and body coordination is easier said than done. You are lucky that you are 13 yrs into it already. I just started two years ago and I can't get enough of it. I am looking forward to a lifetime of learning and discoveries and hopefully be skillful enough someday to pass on the knowledge.

Thanks,
Larry

Moses
07-24-2006, 07:58 PM
FWIW, I thought this was an intersting clip, a demonstration the concept of the "one point".
Granted it is Chinese push hands, not aikido, but still fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3Qex7QFLss&mode=related&search=

Moses

Ian Thake
07-25-2006, 08:23 AM
Despite considerable efforts to understand the anatomy and physiology of acupuncture points and meridians, the definition and characterization of the structures remain elusive. from the first page of above mentioned article.

If anything, this article shows how much is not known. You should really read it, instead of assuming it supports some viewpoint.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the full sentence you quote from conclude with: "...remain elusive (NIH Consensus Statement, 1997 )." (my emphasis)?
You've not quoted the authors' conclusions, you've quoted their summary of the existing body of knowledge - or at least what the NIH (http://consensus.nih.gov/) agreed was the existing body of knowledge - back in 1997, and which the research will expand on.

I'm not trying to claim that the article in some way "proves", "reduces" or "explains away" acupuncture, but simply in response to only this part of your argument
There has yet to be anything that relates any meridians or Ki flow to points in the fascia structure. the article claims that there is - point of fact -
"ultrasound images showing connective tissue cleavage planes at acupuncture points"
"an 80% correspondance between the sites of acupucture points and the location of intermuscular and extramuscular connective tissue planes"

Regards,

Ian

Mike Sigman
08-01-2006, 05:58 PM
Would it be fair to assume that Tohei's insistance of not putting tension in the one-point and the principle of "relax completely," are just tools to force one to stop using the conventional muscles and to start learning how to use the ignored ones (the' stabalizers' or fascia)? I mean if one is truly relaxed completely and has one-point, then how does one truly move or even stand? Perhaps he was trying to get to the root of the most beginning, basic steps in the simplest way he could? You're right, that's what it's for. You have to learn to move a different way and there's more to it than just "relax". Everytime I hear an Asian tell me that the whole secret is just to "relax", I instinctively tense up the hand around my wallet. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
08-01-2006, 06:03 PM
There is nothing in traditional texts that talk about fascia-related structures. This indicates to me that this is a modern western concept trying to retain the physical model for Ki. There has yet to be anything that relates any meridians or Ki flow to points in the fascia structure.Here's a translated quote from the texts on the Yi Jin Jing (the so-called "muscle-tendon-changing classic", but it relates to the mind-body idea):

Membrane (That's "Fascia", Ted)



A man's body consists of the entrails, spirit, and virility internally; and
of the arms, legs, tendons, bones, and flesh externally. For example,
tendons and bones are outside the entrails, flesh is outside the tendons and
bones. Blood vessels are inside the flesh. But Qi is the dominant factor
for one's physical movement. Thus the secret for cultivating one's physical
and mental capabilities is to improve one's Qi and to invigorate one's blood
circulation. One's spirit and virility are invisible or untouchable, but
one's tendons, bones, and flesh are substantial. To cultivate internal
spirit and virility, one must start doing the practice of the substantial
parts of his body first. Therefore, one should not practice the invisible
and untouchable spirit and virility only or just practice the tendons,
bones, and flesh. The practice of one's body must go along with the
practice of one's spirit and virility. Because of this, the practice of
internal work should be done in thie sequence: Qi, membrane, tendon.

While the practice of the tendon is easy, the practice of the membrane is
difficult, and the practice of Qi is more difficult. Students must start
practicing from Qi first in order to keep Qi moving everywhere within their
bodies. The membrane will stretch automatically at the place where Qi
reaches and be as strong as tendons. If one practices tendons without doing
the practice of the membrane, the membrane will be weak. If he practices
membrane without doing the practice of Qi, his membrane and tendons will not
stretch. If he practices Qi without doing the practice of the tendon and
membrane, the Qi will not circulate smoothly within his body and his tendons
will not be strong. To achieve the practice of internal work, one must keep
doing it until his tendons and membranes stretch and become strong.
Otherwise it would be like plants on the ground without dirt.

PeterR
08-02-2006, 02:06 AM
Membrane (That's "Fascia", Ted)

Perhaps the original author used the words interchangeably but membrane and fascia are not the same thing. A quicky wikipedia quote follows http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascia.

Anyhow - exercies to develope fascia make perfect sense - the body structure will change over time based on how its used - even parts that are not manipulateable (take a look at the difference between field and greenhouse grown plants for example). Easy to see how thicker bones, tendons and fascia can provide an advantage and contribute to overall body strength.

What's not clear to me is are people talking about activiely manipulating the facsia or membranes or are they using the terms as an analogy for using the muscles in a particular way. I have a lot easier time with the latter than the former since (scientifically speaking) there is no evidence that the facsia (as with tendons or bones) can be directly manipulated.

Speaking as a scientist I prefer more mystical jargon rather than replacing them with anatomical terms in a pseudo-scientific way. Replacing them in a scientific way I am all for.

Mike Sigman
08-02-2006, 07:02 AM
Perhaps the original author used the words interchangeably but membrane and fascia are not the same thing. A quicky wikipedia quote follows http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascia. Hi Peter:

I don't think a wikipedia entry on the subtleties of English semantics is going to be germane to a translation from old Chinese. There are a number of reasons why, but in this case I have some experience in what is meant and I'd suggest that it's more of a red herring than a help. "Connective tissue" is another word used for the term.Anyhow - exercies to develope fascia make perfect sense - the body structure will change over time based on how its used - even parts that are not manipulateable (take a look at the difference between field and greenhouse grown plants for example). Easy to see how thicker bones, tendons and fascia can provide an advantage and contribute to overall body strength. Very true. Knowing what you just said is enough to benefit your health to a goodly degree if you can devise a system to work the fascia-related structures throughout the whole body. If you can work the fascia-related structures with breathing exercises, stretches, and mind-created jin, you'll be a player. ;) What's not clear to me is are people talking about activiely manipulating the facsia or membranes or are they using the terms as an analogy for using the muscles in a particular way. I have a lot easier time with the latter than the former since (scientifically speaking) there is no evidence that the facsia (as with tendons or bones) can be directly manipulated. Well, if you've ever noticed, sometimes I put in the term "muscle-fascia", but that's not actually 100%, either. I'd have to show how that's done. In fact, face to face, even when I have somebody who can do the entry level thing like engage the coarser myofascial area, it's tough to talk somebody through the visualizations that will allow them to get the more subtle part. But ultimately, any way you cut it, it still turns out to be voluntarily "acquiring" a normally involuntary function of the body, manipulating it deliberately and thereby conditioning it and using it as a supplement to your body's strength/power/health.

My 2 cents and My Regards,


Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
08-02-2006, 07:23 AM
Verry nice series of posts! Thank you....

Best,
Ron (Mike, is there a reasonable translation of the entire text online?)

Mike Sigman
08-02-2006, 07:56 AM
Mike, is there a reasonable translation of the entire text online? Ron, that comes from something I typed/copied out of a book into my notes, years ago. I'm sure I still have the book on the shelf, but I'm not sure which one it is, anymore. However, there was only that short translation, IIRC, certainly not the entire Yi Jin Jing.

If you're interested in seeing some more of the old translations, get Yang Jwing Ming's book on "Qigongs", the one which covers the Yi Jin Jing and the Marrow-Washing Classic. Yang got the translation (he isn't qualified to translate the very old Chinese writings) from someone on Taiwan and made a book of it, providing the literal translations (those can be sketchy at times, of course) and then adding his own take on what they mean (I've only glanced at those parts).

Incidentally, that book mentions several times the famous qigong in which weights/rocks are hung from the male genitalia... making that rather bizarre-sounding qigong one of the earliest recorded ones (there is a similar practice in India; I'd bet that's where it originated). As bizarre and titillating as it sounds, there is sound physiological reasoning behind the qigong, believe it or not. Of course there are other ways to train the fascia-related structures than that... all the conditioning gongs are simply someone's personal take on "here's the best way to use the core principles and train the body".

One of the things I've been interested in is in trying to understand what was involved in the system that O-Sensei used. The more I nose around, the more I feel like there is a large corpus of training methods that are almost completely hidden, but almost undoubtedly were part of the Shingon Buddhist training methods which morphed into the "secret" Shinto "traditional" methods that Deguchi's group used.

FWIW

Mike

Ron Tisdale
08-02-2006, 09:00 AM
Thanks Mike...I found some stuff on the net...a lot linked to what seem to be yogic exercises/postures. Gives me some things to think about. I'll see if I can come up with the text you mentioned.

Best,
Ron

TAnderson
08-02-2006, 09:59 AM
To attempt to approach this from an alternate viewpoint, Mike, are we basically talking about increasing proprioception sensitivity to such an extremely granular level not just for internal monitoring but adding purposeful manipulation to the mix. It would seem in order to attain the level of connective tissue control being discussed we would have to increase the efficiency of afferent and efferent nerve usage in fascia related stretch receptors. The use of exercises for this particular level of control is not unknown since certain Yoga forms and CMA standing exercises (among others) are said train for this level of physiological control in practitioners. This type of internal sensitivity training of stretch receptors, I could see, would provide a total body pathway feel. Similar in the sense that highway system, stoplights, and intersections route traffic one could route energy, force, etc throughout body structures in a unified manner. If true this would, to me, seem that one point is analogous with internal system unification (a highway system as opposed to a highway).

Tim Anderson

Mike Sigman
08-02-2006, 10:12 AM
To attempt to approach this from an alternate viewpoint, Mike, are we basically talking about increasing proprioception sensitivity to such an extremely granular level not just for internal monitoring but adding purposeful manipulation to the mix. It would seem in order to attain the level of connective tissue control being discussed we would have to increase the efficiency of afferent and efferent nerve usage in fascia related stretch receptors. The use of exercises for this particular level of control is not unknown since certain Yoga forms and CMA standing exercises (among others) are said train for this level of physiological control in practitioners. This type of internal sensitivity training of stretch receptors, I could see, would provide a total body pathway feel. Similar in the sense that highway system, stoplights, and intersections route traffic one could route energy, force, etc throughout body structures in a unified manner. If true this would, to me, seem that one point is analogous with internal system unification (a highway system as opposed to a highway). Hi Tim:

There's a British guy who gets into some of the descriptive stuff you're using, but I don't totally agree with it and I'm not sure I have the fortitude to sort out the semantics.

The clearest thing to say is that a lot of this stuff involves learning to source your power lower and to condition the fascia-related structures to aid in that power sourcing and to add to the available pieces for one's power chain. Which means you have to recoordinate the way you move, down to an instinctive level if you want to do it well. How's that for succinctness? ;)

Regards

Mike

TAnderson
08-02-2006, 11:43 AM
Hi Tim:

There's a British guy who gets into some of the descriptive stuff you're using, but I don't totally agree with it and I'm not sure I have the fortitude to sort out the semantics.

The clearest thing to say is that a lot of this stuff involves learning to source your power lower and to condition the fascia-related structures to aid in that power sourcing and to add to the available pieces for one's power chain. Which means you have to recoordinate the way you move, down to an instinctive level if you want to do it well. How's that for succinctness? ;)

Regards

Mike

Thanks for the description. To clarify my previous post, what I was describing relates only to the creation of pathways to fascia-related structures so that they may be incorporated in the power chain. Power sourcing would be a separate issue.

I believe before you talked about the use of visualization in your exercises. This can be a powerful mechanism for internal structure (organ, nerve, muscle, blood pressure, etc) stimulus. Are these visualization techniques to aid in the development of sourcing your power from lower body structures or for linking pathways for addition to the power chain....or both?

Best,
Tim

Mike Sigman
08-02-2006, 01:55 PM
Are these visualization techniques to aid in the development of sourcing your power from lower body structures or for linking pathways for addition to the power chain....or both?I like to use visualizations to grab an ability, then once the ability is acquired, I like to use a combination of further visualization and discussion of physical laws/abilities to take it further. Whatever it takes to effectively convey the idea to the most people in a useable manner. So the answer is "both". ;)

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
08-03-2006, 07:47 PM
And what of Pooh?

A little girl walks in to the lounge one Sunday morning while her Dad is reading the paper.
"Where does poo come from?" she asks.

The father feeling a little perturbed that his 5 year old daughter is
already asking difficult questions thinks for a moment and says:
"Well you know we just ate breakfast?"

"Yes," answers the girl.

"Well the food goes into our tummies and our bodies take out all the good stuff, and then whatever is left over comes out of our
bums when we go to the toilet, and that is poo."

The little girl looks shocked, and stares at him in stunned silence for a few seconds and asks: "And Tigger?"

dps
08-04-2006, 05:43 AM
A little girl walks in to the lounge one Sunday morning while her Dad is reading the paper.
"Where does poo come from?" she asks.

The father feeling a little perturbed that his 5 year old daughter is
already asking difficult questions thinks for a moment and says:
"Well you know we just ate breakfast?"

"Yes," answers the girl.

"Well the food goes into our tummies and our bodies take out all the good stuff, and then whatever is left over comes out of our
bums when we go to the toilet, and that is poo."

The little girl looks shocked, and stares at him in stunned silence for a few seconds and asks: "And Tigger?"
" The more you know the less you understand." Tao Te Ching by (the sometimes mythical) Lao Tzu.

The father should had taken time to be compassionate towards his daughter and try to understand her instead of anticipating her thoughts and eagerly demonstrating his wisdom and knowledge.

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 10:34 AM
" The more you know the less you understand." Tao Te Ching by (the sometimes mythical) Lao Tzu.

The father should had taken time to be compassionate towards his daughter and try to understand her instead of anticipating her thoughts and eagerly demonstrating his wisdom and knowledge.


all the theory in the world is NOTHING like the Real Thing.

C. M. Shifflett
Hmmmmmm..... David, the chorus lines of "ABBA" songs might be another productive source for your personal philosophy, too. Some good stuff there which I'm sure you'd find appealing. ;)

All the Best.

Mike Sigman

tedehara
08-04-2006, 10:55 AM
... the article claims that there is - point of fact -
"ultrasound images showing connective tissue cleavage planes at acupuncture points"
"an 80% correspondance between the sites of acupucture points and the location of intermuscular and extramuscular connective tissue planes"

Regards,

IanActually the article says, "Overall, more that 80% of acupuncture points and 50% of meridian intersections of the arm appeared to coincided with intermuscular or intramuscular connective tissue planes." It does not give ultrasound images showing connective tissue cleavage planes at all acupuncture points. Therefore, it could be argued that this research shows that traditional acupuncture points in the arm, do not neccesarily have any relationship to connective tissue cleavage planes.

My statement "There has yet to be anything that relates any meridians or Ki flow to points in the fascia structure." is irrelevant to this research since the researchers do not postulate the existence of Ki/Qi. Instead they propose an alternative model that is listed in Table 1 of the article. They go on to say:
We propose that acupuncture needle manipulation produces cellular changes that propagate along connective tissue planes. These changes may occur no matter where the needle is place, but may be enhanced when the needle is placed at acupuncture points.

btw This article also mentions:
Ancient acupuncture texts contain several references to "fat, greasy membranes, fasciae and systems of connecting membranes" through which qi is believed to flow (Matsumoto and Birch, 1988) This indicates a list of more than what today we would call fasciae.

dps
08-04-2006, 12:09 PM
Hmmmmmm..... David, the chorus lines of "ABBA" songs might be another productive source for your personal philosophy, too. Some good stuff there which I'm sure you'd find appealing. ;)

All the Best.

Mike Sigman Do you mean like this one.
From the ABBA song,
He Is Your Brother

Treat him well, he is your brother
you might need his help one day
we depend on one another
love him that's the only way
on the road that we're going
we all need words of comfort and compassion
treat him well, he is your brother
love him that's the only way"
© Copyright 1972 for the world by Universal/Union Songs AB, Stockholm, Sweden. All rights reserved

It isn't Lao-Tsu, more like Gandhi.

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 12:24 PM
btw This article also mentions:Ancient acupuncture texts contain several references to "fat, greasy membranes, fasciae and systems of connecting membranes" through which qi is believed to flow (Matsumoto and Birch, 1988)
This indicates a list of more than what today we would call fasciae. However, Ted, it was you opining that I had made it up about the "fascia-related" structures, wasn't it? Are you willing to stipulate that I was right?

And BTW, the "fascia-related structures" is a phrase I use to indicate subtly that there's a bit more to it... but that's a longer story than I want to get into. The thing to bear in mind is that the "fascia" or "connective tissue", etc., are basically collagenous structures. Qigongs, Misogi breathing exercises, etc., work these collagenous structures in several ways, but one of those ways is to stretch and contract, causing the tissues to become thicker, stronger, etc. Even the bones, which are about 50% collagen are noted as "becoming denser" with prolonged conditioning through qigong practice. It's an interesting area of study you might look into.

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 12:31 PM
Do you mean like this one.
From the ABBA song,
He Is Your Brother.... [snip] I think it suits you perfectly, David. Lots of cornerstone thought from which to base one's personal philosophy and so on. It isn't Lao-Tsu, more like Gandhi.Not a bit. First of all, there's a lot of doubt that there ever was a real person or even a single person upon whom "Lao Tsu" was based. Secondly, your syrupy translations of what he said seem more intent on conveying New Age ideals than they to on conveying the somewhat vague "truths" in the writings attributed to one "Lao Tsu". But those kinds of books seem to sell well with the young and idealistic, so why not? Who am I to decry commercial jejuneness? ;)

Regards,

Mike (old and cynical) Sigman

dps
08-04-2006, 12:55 PM
But those kinds of books seem to sell well with the young and idealistic.... It has been several decades since I was young and idealistic, but thank you for the compliment. Mike (old and cynical) SigmanWe can guess how cynical, how old? :)

Mike Sigman
08-04-2006, 01:00 PM
It has been several decades since I was young and idealistic, but thank you for the compliment. "You can only be young once, but you can be immature forever". ;)

We can guess how cynical, how old? :) You'll have to guess that, too. ;)

Mike

dps
08-05-2006, 05:25 AM
"Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully.
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever."
"And he has Brain."
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain."
There was a long silence.
"I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything."

A.A. Milne Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne , copyright 1926. A cornerstone thought from a children's book read by thousands of children for 80 years.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Those who know do not tell.
Those who tell do not know
Not to set the tongue loose
But to curb it.
Not to have edges that snare
But to remain untangled,
Unblinded
Unconfused
Is to find balance,
And he who holds balance beyond sway of love or hate.
Beyond reach of profit or loss,
Beyond care of praise or blame,
Has attained the highest post in the world.."

The Way Of Life by Lao Tsu, copyright 1944.
A cornerstone thought attributed to Lao-Tsu, followed by millions of people since the 6th century B.C.

Ian Thake
08-07-2006, 07:08 AM
Actually the article says, ... <snip>... Therefore, it could be argued that this research shows that traditional acupuncture points in the arm, do not neccesarily have any relationship to connective tissue cleavage planes. Sounds perfectly reasonable. But then again, all I'm trying to suggest is that there's something that relates some meridians to points in the the fascia structure, as opposed to nothing relating any meridian.
My statement "There has yet to be anything that relates any meridians or Ki flow to points in the fascia structure." is irrelevant to this research since the researchers do not postulate the existence of Ki/Qi.So if I can summarise part of the argument:
"[Attempts to explain ki phenoma in terms of fascia related structures] is a modern western concept trying to retain the physical model for Ki."

...and this, presumeably, is a bad thing because:
"There has yet to be anything that relates any meridians or Ki flow to points in the fascia structure."

However, given some research linking some meridians to points in the fascia stucture, it's seen as irrelevant as "the researchers do not postulate the existence of Ki", or in other words: it's a modern western concept trying to retain the physical model for Ki!

We seem back to arguing from something I though we were supposed to be arguing for?

Rgds,

Ian

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 07:42 AM
Actually, as I showed in a couple of earlier examples, the relationship between qi/ki and fascia is a pretty old idea.... and it's not really that obscure, if you look at it from the right perspective.

Qi and strength are related (I'm using a limited aspect of "qi" and talking about the body qi). If you sit/stand still and imagine that every molecule in your body is a copper-coated steel BB, as an example.... Imagine a large very powerful magnet overhead pulling on every molecule of your body, but don't move. Then imagine the large magnet has suddenly moved to in front of you and you stay still against the pull. Then change and let the magnet be behind you, pulling every molecule simultaneously. Examine these feelings of sort of a tingly pull toward the magnet. That's a good example of what the feeling of ki is. Forget the magnet and just imagine that all your BB's are moving forward at the same time, just before you actually do move. It's that prelude to actual movement that is the qi/ki, in the intangible sense.

This prelude to motion, qi, was supposed to be what your mind sent to a place to initiate movment. Training the mind to send the ki wherever it wanted was/is considered an accomplishment. The ki/qi though, is an intrinsic part of movement and therefore strength. So there is a fixed relationship between ki/qi and strength and the study of qi/ki necessarily involves a study of movement and strength.

The human body moves in certain ways that are most efficient. Pushing strengths work best in certain ways and pulling strength work best in certain ways, and so on. For example, pushing straight out, palm forward, is most comfortable at full extension with the fingers mostly upward. Pulling a rope toward you is most comfortable and effective if the arm winds and the elbow twists toward the body. These most efficient ways of movement were plotted out with the original "channels" (the musculo-tendon channels) and the later-refined acupuncture points still pretty much (there are exceptions) follow those movement-derived channels.

The realization that movement is constrained a lot by the sinews and connective tissues happened early on and that became a recognized building block of the qi-movement theory. Many of the traditional cures have an eye to strengthening the connective tissues, for that reason.

Another interesting part of the fascia/connective-tissue view is that the fact the fascia structures penetrate the body and surround the organs etc., was/is part of the relationship fairly early on. Whether they arrived at that knowledge through dissection or whether they simply followed the electro-magnetic effects or what, I haven't any idea and I haven't seen any work on it other than some of the stuff Schliep or Oschman have referred to in their writings on fascia. However, the fact that fascia structures actually do go from the extremes of the limbs and wind up on the other end wrapped around certain organs... pretty close to what the "meridian theory" indicates... and that the Chinese knew that early on has intrigued me quite a bit.

But the point I'm making is that the acupuncture meridians and fascia are not some newly-posited relationship. They're firmly intertwined since the inception of this ancient analysis of movement, qi, etc.

FWIW

Mike

Josh Lerner
08-07-2006, 10:34 AM
Just to add fuel to the fire . . .

In traditional Chinese medicine, there are twelve main organs that are considered to be the most important, one of which has no known Western equivalent. It is called the San Jiao in Mandarin, which translates roughly to "Triple Heater" or "Triple Warmer". The main function of this organ is in spreading the yuan qi, the "original qi" that is qi before it becomes differentiated into qi that is used for specific purposes, through the body.

Most acupuncturists and scholars think of the Triple Warmer as an abstraction, or as a collection of different functions or organs in the body. But there is a very compelling argument that the Triple Warmer is actually the fascia and other connective tissue. The main points of the argument are -

1) The Triple Warmer is described in the oldest known texts (from roughly 2000 years ago) as "formless". This was usually taken to mean that it had some kind of ethereal quality, but may be referring to the fact that fascia itself has no form - it conforms to and takes the shape of whatever structure it is wrapping.

2) The word "Jiao" in San Jiao really means scorched. The oldest Chinese medical texts contain descriptions of the internal organs that are obviously made from dissecting cadavers - the organs are all described by shape and volume and weight. When you dissect a cadaver, depending on the age of it, the thicker fascia can have a brownish, dried look. So the word "jiao" may be descriptive of the quality of the fascia in the cadavers they were dissecting.

3) The twelve main organs are grouped into two pairs, six yin and six yang organs. The Triple Warmer, a yang organ, is paired with the Pericardium, its yin counterpart. All of the other organ pairs are functioning organs (lung, large intestine, stomach, spleen, etc). The two Chinese organs that are not considered to be organs in the Western sense are paired together, and the one that has a Western equivalent (pericardium) is actually a connective tissue sac, so it would make sense that the Triple Warmer, being paired with it, might also be related to connective tissue.

The main point of all of this is *not* to prove or disprove ancient medical theory or cosmology or the existence of qi.

The main point of this *is* that from very early on, the Chinese labeled a number of phenomena in the body as being the result of qi, and that they may have considered the fascia and connective tissue the medium through which these phenomena occurred.

Josh

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 10:41 AM
The main point of this *is* that from very early on, the Chinese labeled a number of phenomena in the body as being the result of qi, and that they may have considered the fascia and connective tissue the medium through which these phenomena occurred. Great points, Josh. One of the interesting things I've taken a look at (I'm no expert, let me declare) is the development of the fascia layers from the early embryonic stages through final development. It's actually interesting to see that it's only one or two sheets that comprise the whole mess, when you really examine what happens. So there is a connectness all through the body. Strange.... and it conforms with startling clarity to a "primitive" theory that is quite old.

FWIW

Mike

Josh Lerner
08-07-2006, 10:55 AM
One of the interesting things I've taken a look at (I'm no expert, let me declare) is the development of the fascia layers from the early embryonic stages through final development. It's actually interesting to see that it's only one or two sheets that comprise the whole mess, when you really examine what happens. So there is a connectness all through the body.

It's also something I'm interested in, so if you have any recommended reference works, please post them.

If you (or anyone else who is interested) don't already have a copy, I recommend getting "Hara Diagnosis: Reflections on the Sea" by Kiiko Matsumoto and Stephen Birch. The book is really for acupuncturists, but it contains an extensive section on connective tissue and fascia, especially the abdominal fascia, and the embryological development of them, all with the idea that they are what the Neijing and other classical texts were actually describing. They don't go into the san jiao/fascia theory, however, and end up waxing more philosophical and cosmological about the san jiao (not that there is anything wrong with that), but it fits in perfectly with the rest of what they are talking about.

I've heard somewhere recently that the fascia in the body all is rooted in or comes out from the kidneys. Does anyone know anything about this, or have references to support the idea? If it is true, then that further strengthens the san jiao/fascia theory, since the yuan qi is considered to be stored in the kidneys and goes out to the rest of the body from there. It also ties back into the title of this thread, since the "one point", to the extent that it correlates with the dantian, is the more anterior version of the "gate of life" (mingmen in Mandarin) that is located between the kidneys around the juncture of the second and third lumbar vertebra.

Josh

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 11:07 AM
I've heard somewhere recently that the fascia in the body all is rooted in or comes out from the kidneys. Does anyone know anything about this, or have references to support the idea? If it is true, then that further strengthens the san jiao/fascia theory, since the yuan qi is considered to be stored in the kidneys and goes out to the rest of the body from there. It also ties back into the title of this thread, since the "one point", to the extent that it correlates with the dantian, is the more anterior version of the "gate of life" (mingmen in Mandarin) that is located between the kidneys around the juncture of the second and third lumbar vertebra. Well (and now I have to put out a "speculation" alert), don't forget that the whole theory was put together based on the way the body is put together in conjunction with the way it works. I.e., the mingmen (L3) area is mechanically a force nexus because that's the way the body works within the laws of physics. The "kidney" thing is, in my opinion/experience, more to do with how potential energy (and pressure-tension potential, particularly) is stored in various areas of the body. There was an interesting comment from Guo Yun Shen about when he struck someone that the guy was lucky Guo only used qi from the lungs and not qi from the kidnies when he hit the guy (a fighing Buddhist priest, FWIW). To me, Guo is saying that he used the whole body with a more superficial store-and-release than if he used the focused, heavy-duty store-and-release that comes from pressurizing the kidney area, which is closest to the force nexus of the mingmen/dantien area. I can demonstrate what I mean, but that's description is about as close as I can get in writing.

So my comment is that what you're looking for in relation to the kidney/fascia nexus may not necessarily be true; it may be more that the kidney-region represents more of a "storage" area.

FWIW

Mike

Josh Lerner
08-07-2006, 11:42 AM
So my comment is that what you're looking for in relation to the kidney/fascia nexus may not necessarily be true; it may be more that the kidney-region represents more of a "storage" area.



So that brings up a whole 'nother topic - the crossover between physiology and mechanics. The lumbar area can be a mechanical storage area for the receiving and transmitting of forces in a martial context, but the kidneys themselves in Chinese medicine are also seen as physiological storage vessels for the basic yin and yang qi, and yuan qi, of the body. Whether those are two parallel but entirely coincidental ideas, or whether they are related to each other to various degrees based on the relationship between anatomy/mechanics/kinesiology and physiology, or whether they are actually the same thing but have gradually become misunderstood in China or the West over the last 2000 years, is a fascinating topic that I am completely unprepared to discuss.

If what I've heard about the kidneys and fascia isn't true, then great, no big deal. It would be an extra layer of icing on the cake, as far as I'm concerned. But we've still got the cake, and really, how much icing do we need?

Josh

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 11:56 AM
So that brings up a whole 'nother topic - the crossover between physiology and mechanics. The lumbar area can be a mechanical storage area for the receiving and transmitting of forces in a martial context, but the kidneys themselves in Chinese medicine are also seen as physiological storage vessels for the basic yin and yang qi, and yuan qi, of the body. Whether those are two parallel but entirely coincidental ideas, or whether they are related to each other to various degrees based on the relationship between anatomy/mechanics/kinesiology and physiology, or whether they are actually the same thing but have gradually become misunderstood in China or the West over the last 2000 years, is a fascinating topic that I am completely unprepared to discuss.

If what I've heard about the kidneys and fascia isn't true, then great, no big deal. It would be an extra layer of icing on the cake, as far as I'm concerned. But we've still got the cake, and really, how much icing do we need?It's a tricky area and I'm afraid to do more than offer opinions when we're this deep in a complex topic. The qi-paradigm is explicative, and not something that at core can be used to predict a lot of things (actually, because it has a logic of its own, some things can be predicted, as *some* aspects of martial physiology and acupuncture show, but not all). Since the basic premise of of universal qi/ki doesn't really pan out in the closely studied real world, it had to be dropped eventually, but along the way while everything was manipulated in an attempt to make the qi-paradigm work, some bogus relationships developed. My problem is that at some levels of knowledge, it's difficult to say sometimes what is real and what is not. Since I only have a mediocre expertise, I'm afraid to guess some things.... in the past, some of my guesses have turned out to be wrong, so I'm much slower to guess nowadays.

What I'm saying, having said all that pre-ramble, is that I don't know for sure, but my experience and knowledge to date suggests that some of the kidney inferences were an attempt to explain a physical process that they knew to be true. What's interesting is that if you accept that logic, then the implication is that the whole qi, etc., theory in relation to the human body goes back much further than we're assuming. Oh well, now it's way to complex to discuss on this forum. Insofar as Aikido and Japan are concerned, probably none of this is germane to any time prior to 500-700AD. How germane it was then is hard to say.

Regards,

Mike

tedehara
08-14-2006, 01:43 PM
...We seem back to arguing from something I though we were supposed to be arguing for?

Rgds,

IanI think you're taking many of the article's statements as conclusive. I believe the researchers went to great pains to show their results as tentative. They outlined traditonal Chinese theory and suggested what they called practical alternatives. While these theories are similiar to traditonal Chinese medicine, they are alternative models.

tedehara
08-14-2006, 02:05 PM
However, Ted, it was you opining that I had made it up about the "fascia-related" structures, wasn't it? Are you willing to stipulate that I was right?

And BTW, the "fascia-related structures" is a phrase I use to indicate subtly that there's a bit more to it... but that's a longer story than I want to get into. The thing to bear in mind is that the "fascia" or "connective tissue", etc., are basically collagenous structures. Qigongs, Misogi breathing exercises, etc., work these collagenous structures in several ways, but one of those ways is to stretch and contract, causing the tissues to become thicker, stronger, etc. Even the bones, which are about 50% collagen are noted as "becoming denser" with prolonged conditioning through qigong practice. It's an interesting area of study you might look into.

Regards,

MikeI am certainly willing to agree, only because of the lack of definition in the original texts. They could be talking about anything between skin and marrow. The fact that they didn't have a copy of Gray's Anatomy when they wrote about Qi, makes it read like mystical wisdom, rather than ancient superstitions.

Mike Sigman
08-14-2006, 02:19 PM
The fact that they didn't have a copy of Gray's Anatomy when they wrote about Qi, makes it read like mystical wisdom, rather than ancient superstitions.The oldest writings pinpoint this to the "connective tissue". It's difficult for me to believe, either. How did they know that? Just how old is this stuff? Think about all the quasi-religious performances throughout Asia that have something to do with hooks in the skin, the toughness of the skin, the skin taking blows, etc., etc. Think about how toughening your knuckles on a makiwara is considered not so refined as only "using you qi" to train the hand. It gets fun. ;)

Mike

tedehara
08-22-2006, 09:32 AM
A recent study of acupuncture that indicates needle placement is not crucial.
Acupuncture helps with joint pain (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5683790&ft=1&f=1007)

tedehara
10-09-2006, 07:33 AM
You can read about the German study at Annals of Internal Medicine Acupuncture and Knee Osteoarthritis (http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/145/1/12) . This is an extremely important study since the sponsors are German Medical Insurance Companies. They funded this study to determine if they would pay for acupuncture treatments as a medical claim.

Mike Sigman
10-09-2006, 07:54 AM
That's a good article, Ted. Thanks for posting it. There was a large-scale study by the NIH arm of the US government that basically said acupuncture did not do too well on tests of its efficacy. Personally, I'm not a big acupuncture fan, but I also have a slight mental reservation about these tests in Germany and the U.S. that I'll share. I would feel more comfortable with the tests if they'd been done in two countries, the U.S. and in China... and then a comparison of the results studied.

The reason I say that I that I think most western acupuncturists are about as expert as many Aikido, Taiji, etc., teachers in the West are experts in heavy-duty martial arts. In other words, there are a lot of people "doing acupuncture" who probably only have a superficial mastery of the subject. They know the words, can manipulate the needles, know the theories vaguely, etc...... sound familiar?

So in my mind I hold open the possibility that acupuncture done by experts might yield a somewhat different test result, although I simply don't know that for sure. Certainly I feel a little uneasy about a test that involved mostly western acupuncturists with only a couple of years of training.

FWIW

Mike

bulevardi
03-17-2010, 06:56 AM
Do ideas exist in reality or do they not exist at all?

Who is the judge of what is really real and what is not?


Well, Ki could be an idea, a thought, a belief.
Same as God would be Ki.
I'm reading a Tohei book about Ki at the moment and as I am sceptical to things that aren't really proven with a ki-meter yet, I could change every 'ki'-word in the book by the 'god'-word.
Fun to read when everytime Ki is replace by God. You should try it, it's reading like a bible...

In books about Ki it's always said as an imaginary power. As in 'imagine that ki flows through your arm and your arm is a fire hose'.
In those books it's also written that you sit in seiza with hands on your legs. And if you are relaxed, no muscles tentioned, maintained One-Point, no one can move your hand upwards. Because you think your hand can't go upwards, it's not possible to go upwards. "It you think A, A will happen,...If A is not happening, you didn't maintain One-Point."

That's like saying 'concentrate on your One-Point and imagine the walls are painted blue'.
If the walls turn blue, you maintained One-Point and Ki. If they didn't turn blue, you didn't concentrate that well and didn't maintain your One-Point.
Why wouldn't it work? Ki is aswel in the walls, Ki is universal in every particle.

If I read those books it's like the author tries to brainwash me into something supernatural I have to believe. It is like a sect.
And lots of other people who quit Aikido have told me to quit because it's a sect. Wether it's Oomoto-Kyo or Ki or other stuff...
That's why I'm always critical when it's about suspicious subjects like Ki.